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Uses

Toxic parts

The leaves are poisonous[1]. Handling the leaves is said to cause dermatitis in some people[2].

Edible uses

Notes

The underground stem and the flowers are used as a ginger substitute[3][4][5][6][7]. The root, especially when quite dry, has a pungent, aromatic smell like mild pepper and ginger mixed, but more strongly aromatic[8]. The root is best harvested in autumn but is available all year round[9]. It can be dried for later use[9].

Unknown part

Material uses

The slightly roasted root can be ground into a powder and then sprinkled onto clothing for perfume[10]. A useful ground cover for a shady position so long as it is not dry[11], spreading by its roots[12].

Unknown part

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

Snake root was widely employed as a medicinal herb by a number of native North American tribes who used it to treat a wide range of ailments[10]. It is still occasionally used in modern herbalism.

The root is anthelmintic, carminative, diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant, irritant, powerfully stimulant, stomachic and tonic[13][14][15][16][17][10]. It is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use[13]. It is used in the treatment of chronic chest complaints, asthma, coughs, colds, dropsy, painful spasms of the bowels and stomach, scant or painful menstruation, infantile convulsions[13][10]. The fresh leaves are applied as a poultice to wounds and inflammations, whilst a decoction or salve is applied to sores[10]. The root contains antibiotic substances effective against broad-spectrum bacteria and fungi[18]. It also contains aristolochic acid, which has antitumor activity[19].

The root and rhizome were slowly boiled in a small quantity of water for a long time and the resulting liquid drunk as a contraceptive by the women of one N. American Indian tribe[20].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Soil surface

Ecological Functions

Ground cover

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe in the summer[21]. Stored seed will require 3 weeks cold stratification and should be sown in late winter[21]. The seed usually germinates in the spring in 1 - 4 or more weeks at 18°c[21]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in light shade in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out when large enough in late spring. Division in spring or autumn. Plants are slow to increase[16]. It is best to pot the divisions up and keep them in light shade in the greenhouse until they are growing away strongly.

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Asarum canadense. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

Prefers a rich moist neutral to acid soil in woodland or a shady position in the rock garden[22][16]. Plants are found on alkaline soils in the wild[23].

Plants are hardy to at least -25°c[16]. The flowers are malodorous and are pollinated by flies[16].

Plants often self-sow when growing in a suitable position[16].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Asarum canadense. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Asarum canadense.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Asarum canadense
Genus
Asarum
Family
Aristolochiaceae
Imported References
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
2
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
partial sun
Shade
permanent shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Ecosystems
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Life
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    Herbaceous or Woody
    ?
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    Mature Size
    Fertility
    ?
    Pollinators
    Flower Colour
    ?
    Flower Type

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    "image:Asarum canadense - wild ginger - desc-view into flower.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Asarum canadense - wild ginger - desc-view into flower.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.


    "image:Asarum canadense - wild ginger - desc-view into flower.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    "image:Asarum canadense - wild ginger - desc-view into flower.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

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    References

    1. ? Stary. F. Poisonous Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-35666-3 (1983-00-00)
    2. ? Duke. J. Handbook of Energy Crops - (1983-00-00)
    3. ? 3.03.1 Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World. Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-20459-6 (1972-00-00)
    4. ? 4.04.1 Harris. B. C. Eat the Weeds. Pivot Health (1973-00-00)
    5. ? 5.05.1 Coon. N. The Dictionary of Useful Plants. Rodale Press ISBN 0-87857-090-x (1975-00-00)
    6. ? 6.06.1 Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption. Koeltz Scientific Books ISBN 3874292169 (1984-00-00)
    7. ? 7.07.1 Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
    8. ? 8.08.1 Genders. R. Scented Flora of the World. Robert Hale. London. ISBN 0-7090-5440-8 (1994-00-00)
    9. ? 9.09.19.2 McPherson. A. and S. Wild Food Plants of Indiana. Indiana University Press ISBN 0-253-28925-4 (1977-00-00)
    10. ? 10.010.110.210.310.410.510.6 Moerman. D. Native American Ethnobotany Timber Press. Oregon. ISBN 0-88192-453-9 (1998-00-00)
    11. ? 11.011.1 Royal Horticultural Society. Ground Cover Plants. Cassells. ISBN 0-304-31089-1 (1989-00-00)
    12. ? 12.012.1 Thomas. G. S. Plants for Ground Cover J. M. Dent & Sons ISBN 0-460-12609-1 (1990-00-00)
    13. ? 13.013.113.213.3 Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984-00-00)
    14. ? 14.014.1 Lust. J. The Herb Book. Bantam books ISBN 0-553-23827-2 (1983-00-00)
    15. ? 15.015.1 Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
    16. ? 16.016.116.216.316.416.516.616.7 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    17. ? 17.017.1 Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (1995-00-00)
    18. ? 18.018.1 Coffey. T. The History and Folklore of North American Wild Flowers. Facts on File. ISBN 0-8160-2624-6 (1993-00-00)
    19. ? 19.019.1 Foster. S. & Duke. J. A. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants. Eastern and Central N. America. Houghton Mifflin Co. ISBN 0395467225 (1990-00-00)
    20. ? 20.020.1 Weiner. M. A. Earth Medicine, Earth Food. Ballantine Books ISBN 0-449-90589-6 (1980-00-00)
    21. ? 21.021.121.2 Rice. G. (Editor) Growing from Seed. Volume 2. Thompson and Morgan. (1988-00-00)
    22. ? F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
    23. ? 23.023.1 Fernald. M. L. Gray's Manual of Botany. American Book Co. (1950-00-00)
    24. ? [Flora of N. America] ()

    "image:Asarum canadense - wild ginger - desc-view into flower.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    Facts about "Asarum canadense"RDF feed
    Article is incompleteYes +
    Article requires citationsNo +
    Article requires cleanupYes +
    Belongs to familyAristolochiaceae +
    Belongs to genusAsarum +
    Functions asGround cover +
    Has common nameSnake Root +
    Has drought toleranceIntolerant +
    Has edible partUnknown part +
    Has edible useSeasoning +
    Has fertility typeFlies +
    Has flowers of typeHermaphrodite +
    Has growth rateSlow +
    Has hardiness zone2 +
    Has imageAsarum canadense - wild ginger - desc-view into flower.jpg +
    Has lifecycle typePerennial +
    Has material partUnknown part +
    Has material useIncense +
    Has mature height0.1 +
    Has mature width0.5 +
    Has medicinal partUnknown part +
    Has medicinal useAnthelmintic +, Antiasthmatic +, Antibiotic +, Antitumor +, Carminative +, Contraceptive +, Diaphoretic +, Diuretic +, Expectorant +, Irritant +, Poultice +, Salve +, Stimulant +, Stomachic + and Tonic +
    Has primary imageAsarum canadense - wild ginger - desc-view into flower.jpg +
    Has search nameasarum canadense + and x +
    Has shade tolerancePermanent shade +
    Has soil ph preferenceAcid +, Neutral + and Alkaline +
    Has soil teclayture preferenceClay +
    Has soil teloamyture preferenceLoamy +
    Has soil tesandyture preferenceSandy +
    Has soil water retention preferenceWell drained +
    Has sun preferencePartial sun +
    Has taxonomy nameAsarum canadense +
    Has water requirementsmoderate +
    Inhabits ecosystem nicheSoil surface +
    Is deciduous or evergreenDeciduous +
    Is taxonomy typeSpecies +
    Tolerates nutritionally poor soilNo +
    Uses mature size measurement unitMeters +