The 70 or so species making up this genus are mainly evergreen, low-growing, and rhizomatous woodland perennials from Europe, East Asia, and North America. They are grown for their heart-shaped or kidney-shaped, glossy, sometimes marbled leaves that conceal unusual-looking pitcher-shaped flowers that are malodorous. Asarum make nice groundcovers or woodland garden plants. Their rhizomes are aromatic.
Noteworthy CharacteristicsLarge, glossy leaves. Unusual, hidden, pitcher-shaped flowers. Mostly evergreen.
CareAsarum like partial to full shade and organically rich, moist but well-drained soil. They prefer a neutral to acidic pH.
PropagationAs soon as the seeds are ripe, sow them in containers in a cold frame. Divide carefully in early spring.
ProblemsSlugs and snails, mostly in spring. Leaf gall, rust.