European wild-ginger is a colonizing ground cover that looks similar to the native species, except for having smooth rather than hairy leaves.
All common names:
Tree or Plant Type:
- Ground cover,
- Mixed border
- Small plant (6-12 inches)
- Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily),
- Full shade (4 hrs or less of light daily)
- Zone 4,
- Zone 5 (Chicago),
- Zone 6,
- Zone 7
- Acid soil,
- Moist, well-drained soil
- Wet sites,
- Alkaline soil
Seasons of Interest:
- early spring,
- mid spring,
- late spring,
- early summer,
- late summer,
- early fall,
- mid fall
Flower Color & Fragrance:
Shape or Form:
Size and Method of spreading
European wild-ginger is a relatively short plant, usually staying under 6 to 8 inches high. It is a colonizing ground cover. Colonizing ground covers produce underground stems that spread out horizontally and shallowly, produce roots and then send up new shoots. These plants are strong growers and may have the potential to grow aggressively.
European wild-ginger grows best in partial to full shade and needs a consistent supply of moisture.
Disease, pests, and problems
No common problems other than slugs.
Disease, pest, and problem resistance
Tolerant of deer and black walnut toxicity.
Native geographic location and habitat
Native to wooded areas in southern Europe.
The leaves arise from the base of the plant (basal). They are heart-shaped with entire margins. In mild winters, the foliage may be semi-evergreen.
Flowers of wild-ginger are often overlooked as they are held below the foliage and are brownish-purple in color. The small flowers are produced in spring and have three triangular sepals that curl backward.
The fruit is a capsule; not ornamentally important.