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Wild Ginger Flower

Wild Ginger Flower

Wild Ginger Flower

Wild ginger has some interesting ethnobotanical uses as well. Native Americans and early Euro-American settlers have used wild ginger as a spice. The root is harvested dried and then ground into a powder. Early settlers also cooked pieces of the root in sugar water for several days to obtain a ginger-flavored, candied root. The left over liquid was then boiled down to syrup that was used on pancakes and other food items. However, you should be aware that scientists have determined that the plants may contain poisonous compounds and consumption of the plant is highly discouraged.Wild Ginger is a city near the southern coast of Burma, land of orchids and the Cardamom Mountains. In the foothills, about half a mile past the village of Shwe Than Kyoo, stands a large ginger tree.

Ginger

Asarum canadense, wild ginger, is found throughout the eastern half of the United States. It grows in rich mesic soils in shady deciduous forests. Many a hiker has walked past the large colonies of this early spring wildflower not realizing that it has an interesting and peculiar flower underneath the canopy of its heart-shaped leaves. The plants are softly pubescent especially the leaf petiole and the flower. Wild ginger’s flower is located at the base of the plant lying adjacent to the ground. The flowers are bell shaped with three acuminate-reflexed tips. The flower is brownish purple inside. Some folks liken the flower to a little knocked over jug on the ground.Wild ginger makes an excellent addition to a shade garden. Growing it from seed is not practical, but a large colony of the plant will have a large mass of underground rhizomes. Rhizomes may be dug from the ground after the plant has leafed out in the spring and transplanted to your wildflower garden.

However, harvesting wildflowers from the national forests is illegal unless you have obtained a permit. If harvesting from private property, only do so with the express permission of the landowner. Support your local native plant nursery by purchasing plants that have not been wild collected is a very good option. Once established in your shade garden, the plant will grow into a colony that can expand up to six to eight inches in all directions each year.Wild ginger has slender, elongate, shallow rhizomes, and often reproduces rhizomatously, although it also reproduces sexually through the production of seeds. Seeds include a fleshy appendage rich with oils that attract ants, which act as an important dispersers of this plant. In parts of its range, wild ginger may comprise an important food source for rodents (particularly pocket gophers). The species is also palatable to slugs. Wild ginger is thought to have antibiotic properties, and Native Americans used this plant to treat headaches, intestinal pain, knee pain, arthritis, indigestion, tuberculosis, colic and as a general tonic. (Source:www.fs.fed.us)

 

 

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