Asarum caudatum (British Columbia wild ginger, western wild ginger, or long-tailed wild ginger) is native to rich moist forests of western North America from British Columbia to California and as far east as western Montana. In spring, it develops distinct hirsute (hairy) cup-shaped, brown-purple to green-yellow flowers which terminate in three long gracefully curved lobes, often concealed by leaves. The long rhizomes give rise to persistent reniform (kidney/heart-shaped) leaves. Leaves are found in colonies or clusters as the rhizome spreads.
Wild Ginger (Asarum caudatum) grows in the moist shaded forest around Mount Rainier, its distinctive flower often tucked away under its leaves. Named for the strong scent of lemon ginger it exudes when crushed, Wild Ginger is believed to have medicinal properties, historically utilized by many native tribes. It is also believed to be good luck.
For a list of popular wildflower trails please click here.
NPS, Crow Vecchio
Flower Family: Birthwort
Scientific Name: Asarum caudatum
Usual Color: Red-pink