Shutterworth Ginger (asarum shuttleworthii)

shuttleworth ginger

Shutterworth Ginger is a perennial that can grow to eight inches tall in wet and well drained soils in part to full shade.    It prefers constantly moist, acidic soils and need to be mulched in the winter time for protection.    In our garden I allow the leaf litter to remain on top until early spring.   However, once established it is pretty hardy and does not require constant moisture (ours has survived several droughts).   It has purple brown flowers that bloom from April to May.   The flowers are attractive but are hard to see because they occur close to the ground and are hidden by the foliage.   The leaves are rounded heart shaped and up to four inches long with silver grey markings.   It will spread very slowly by rhizome roots in ideal conditions.

The Cherokee would make a poultice from the leaves and apply it to skin wounds.  A tea was made from the roots and taken for heart trouble.   Dried leaves were crushed into powder and used as snuff.

Shutterworth Ginger is easily found in the better plant nursery and on-line suppliers.  It is a wonderful plant for your shade garden.   Since it has such lovely markings I like to plant it near a pathway so it can be easily seen and appreciated.


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