Tuesday, April 27, 2010

My Asarum collection begins

One of my resolutions/goals for 2009 was to start a collection of Asarums, a plant genus that I have admired for a while.  I didn't get any Asarums during 2009, but I did place an order for 6 Asarum plants just 8 days into year 2010.  That order was delayed until the weather was permitting of shipment.

My love of Asarums began a couple of years ago when I saw a Chinese Wild Ginger (Asarum splendens) plant at a local garden center.  I think I bought one or two of them and planted them in our corner garden for the summer.  Even though they were supposed to be winter hardy in my zone, I was a little worried they would die and I would never have another opportunity to buy such a cool little plant.  So I dug mine up and kept them potted in the house over the winter.  I replanted them outside in the Spring the next year and Pippa promptly dug a hole where they were located.  To be fair to Pippa, she sometimes likes to dig nice cool depressions in our flowerbed to lay in, but I think this instance was in search of a mole that had been digging all over our backyard.  In the process, she managed to mangle my Asarums and they didn't survive.

My fears of not being able to find this plant again have been validated each Spring when I have returned to the same garden center to see that the supplier which grew the Asarums is still providing plants to this garden center, but no Asarums!

I found that Asiatica Nursery has tapped into the Asian (primarily Japanese) obsession with these little plants and has a HUGE variety of plants for sale on their website.  Their prices reflect the limited availability, so it took me a little while to save up enough to make my first order.

Here's what I got:

Asarum asperum

Asarum asperum
Detail of Asarum asperum blooms.

New leaves formed on my Asarum asperum just a couple of days after I got them.
Asarum caudigerum

Asarum caudigerum
Detail of somewhat withered Asarum caudigerum bloom.
Asarum maximum (Panda Asarum)

Asarum maximum with nice bloom
Asarum maximum bloom detail
Asarum minamitanianum

Asarum minamitanianum with bloom.
Asarum minamitanianum bloom detail
This one reminds me of the movie Tremors.  If you've seen the movie, you are likely to agree with me! :)

Asarum savatieri var. suntoh (albino form)

Asarum savatieri var. suntoh (albino form).  No blooms on this one.
Asarum takaoi

Asarum takaoi. A very small bloom is withered at the base of the stems.


  1. Okay, now I know what they are, and they remind me of a type of begonia. The blooms are such a dark color. Glad you now have a collection. :-)

  2. Hi Zach! Thanks for showing all these different types of A. I just got my first one.

  3. Since all the good Asarum nureries have gone out of buisness are your plants large enough to divide and share? I would be interested. LMK