Wild Ginger

Some weeks back I found several Wild Ginger (Asarum canadense) plants on sale at a local Agway – I was quite thrilled since I have not found any growing in my area, even though their native range extends down to Georgia and as far west as the Mississippi. My first encounter with Wild Ginger was about a year ago while on a forage-walk with plant guides Nova Kim and Les Hook up in New Hampshire.

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It was found growing on a steep, moist and shady hillside, just where you’d expect to come across it.

I bought one of the plants and took it home with me, deciding that I would introduce it into my local woodland. Hopefully it will flourish over time and start little colonies in the rich soil. There were plenty of suitable places to plant it, but I chose a spot that would conceal it from passers-by while still providing enough moisture for it to thrive.

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And here it lies, beneath a barberry bush, sheltered in a grove of Sweet Birch and Sugar Maple.

You can make Wild Ginger candy by boiling the rhizomes until they are tender and simmering them in a sugar syrup. Alternatively, you can dry the rhizomes and pound them into a ginger powder for seasoning and baking.

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