asarum

Our native ginger is one of our most beautiful woodland ground covers, best enjoyed for its mostly evergreen carpet of deep green heart-shaped (fragrant!) leaves, not to mention the unusual, other-worldly purplish-brown cupped flowers with long mousy tails extending from three flower lobes that hide and peek out from the foliage.

asarum caudatum

Asarum caudatum

While Asarum caudatum is by far the most common native species of wild ginger, there is a second worth mentioning: Asarum marmoratum is a beautiful but fairly obscure species that is found in Oregon in only a small portion of the far southwest corner of the state in the Siskiyou Mountains.

It is similar in all ways to Asarum caudatum, but with striking silver markings on the leaves. I have never seen it available locally. If you’re interested in this something of a native collector’s item, visit Pacific Rim Nursery’s website.