How to Grow Asarum Europaeum Plants in your Garden

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Asarabacca

Asarum europaeum is a slow-growing perennial ground cover. It belongs to the plant family Aristolochiaceae.

This plant is also known as European wild ginger, Asarabacca, Wild spikenard, and Hazelwort.

Asarum europaeum makes an excellent evergreen groundcover in areas that have mild winters. It is typically used as a groundcover and borders in gardens, and in shaded areas. But can also be planted as a butterfly attractant.

Asarum europaeum also known as Asarabacca, European wild ginger, hazelwort, and wild spikenard photograph by stormboy33, CC.

The foliage of Asarum europaeum grows as dark green, glossy, heart-shaped leaves that can reach up to 3 inches (8 cm) across.

In late spring to early summer, tiny, bell-shaped flowers of a brownish-purple colour bloom, but these are quickly overtaken and covered by the dense foliage of the plant.

Gardener's HQ Asarum europaeum Growing Guide

Asarum europaeum grows best in hardiness zones 4 to 8 and prefers to grow in partial to full shaded areas.

It is a very low-maintenance plant and should be planted during the early spring for the best seasonal growth.

The plant can reach up to 6 inches tall (15 cm high) and spread out to abut 8 - 12 inches (20 to 30 cm).

Wild Ginger is best grown in loamy, somewhat acidic, and well-drained soil. It requires a medium amount of water and is tolerant of damp soil.

The plant spreads by underground root systems and division are unnecessary for optimum growth but can be done for further propagation in other areas of the garden.

If pruning is needed to remove dead foliage, it should be carried out during the spring.

Asarum europaeum Growing and Care Guide

  • Scientific Name: Asarum europaeum
  • Common Name: Asarabacca
  • Growing Zone: USA: 4 to 8: UK H6, to –20°C.
  • Life Cycle / Plant Type: Herbaceous, Perennial

Plant Details

  • Plant Height (Inches): 4 to 8
  • Plant Spread (Inches): 18 to 24
  • Time of Bloom: Spring
  • Flower Details: Purple
  • Leaf Foliage: Green
  • Fruit:
  • Growth Form: Spreading / horizontal

Ideal Growing Conditions

  • Best Light Conditions: shade to partial shade partial sun
  • Rate of Growth: Grows slowly
  • Suitable Soil Types: Loamy, Neutral, Well drained
  • Soil Moisture: Moist

Caring Conditions

  • Care:
  • Level of Maintenance: Low
  • Propagation: Seeds sown in containers as soon as ripe, ordividein early spring
  • How to Prune: No pruning needed
  • Pests: Slugs and snails can be a problem especially in spring
  • Diseases: Generally trouble free

Further Information

  • Can Attract:
  • Tolerant of: Deer, Black Walnut
  • Best Garden Use: Border, Ground cover, En masse, Rock garden, Woodland garden
  • Family: Aristolochiaceae.
  • Closely Related Species: Aristolochia.

  • Miscellaneous: Attractive foliage, Non-native to North America, Naturalizing, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms
  • Genus Detail: Asarum
  • Further Reading and References: Here and Here

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Asarum Europaeum. You may also enjoy the following Gardener's HQ growing guides: How to grow Fritillaria and Roscoea plants.