I was cleaning out some gardens and am not sure what this is. Is it a weed or not?


Asarum canadense,canada wild ginger.

  • Positive Id can be confirmed on the flowers of which two are just visible at the base of the stem.
  • Relatively common to most of eastern North America.
  • In my garden not a delicate wildflower but a slowly spreading groundcover that is fairly tough in hot and dry conditions as long as the soil is fairly rich
  • pollinated by slugs, but don't hold this against it
  • 2
    And the stems are nice and gingery to taste, we used to chew on them when we were kids. A variant grows in Southern Oregon wherever there are springs and damp draws in the mountains. May 27 '14 at 3:05
  • Ewww! Pollinated by slugs?!
    – user3541
    May 27 '14 at 15:33
  • Heh, Banana Slugs, the Washington/Oregon West of the Cascades pet of choice... May 27 '14 at 18:24
  • 1
    Wow...first time ever that I heard that the poor slug has a purpose. Of course it did, and I am so thankful at least one purpose has been revealed. I HAD such a tough time killing them. Flashlight and scissors. A few nights and they were in control. Amazing creatures. They can be thrown 1000 feet or more and find their way back to whatever they were eating. The only natural predators I've found were my muscovi ducks that gobbled them up...and then pooped them out on my back door step. EEyuuuuu! That and some mite that will cover them when they are not in good health.
    – stormy
    May 29 '14 at 18:40
  • 2
    The absolute worst is to step on one barefoot in the dark. First, your heart rate shoots up as the adrenaline pumps from stepping on a squishy piece of rubbery slime, then you curse mightily trying to scrape it off. The stuff is impervious at first to being washed off, use a scrub brush and stiff detergent, and you still can feel it as it dries. Largest one I encountered was about 7" long. They can get bigger over on the coast. May 30 '14 at 2:04

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