Additional notes (click to expand)

Featured Plant

The Chinese Wild Ginger or Hua lian xi xin catches your eye with a blanket of shiny silver and green leaves with deep shimmery purple undersides and distinct mottled markings. Heart shaped rather like a cyclamen, these grow from creeping rhizomes and remain semi-evergreen through mild winters until a new set of leaves is produced in spring. This Asarum makes an excellent ground cover, especially in a woodland setting. It’s only when you move the foliage back in late winter/early spring that you see the voluptuous and velvety deep purple and brown flowers hugging the ground. The flowers are thought to be pollinated by beetles, flies and moths but lack the characteristic foul smell of other flowers from the Aristolochia family. They are native to South-Central China where their natural habitat is the forest floor at around 800-1300m. The ginger-like rhizomes have a strong and pungent flavour. They are commonly referred to as wild gingers (not a culinary ginger) as their rhizomes have a similar spicy scent. The leaves are mildly toxic. They are tolerant of Juglone which is a product produced by the Black Walnut (Juglans nigra) in order to inhibit the growth of of neighbouring plants.

Geographical distribution

  • Asia-Temperate, China

Asarum splendens (F. Maek.) C.Y. Cheng & C.S. Yang

Genus: Asarum
Species: splendens (F. Maek.) C.Y. Cheng & C.S. Yang
Common names: Hua lian xi xin
Distribution summary: China
Habit: Perennial
Habitat: Woodlands
Garden status: Currently grown
Garden location: Far East (L), Plants of the World (B)
Reason for growing: Other use

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