The wild ginger is a reliable, hardy groundcover for part shade and shade locations, spreading from rhizomes. The heart shaped leaves are covered with soft, downy hairs looking quite velvety. It is deer-resistant and will maintain a great green carpet throughout the year. It has interesting flowers that appear at the base of the stems and make for a good outdoor family activity in early spring – a contest to discover the first wild ginger flower! They are pollinated by insects that inhabit the woodland floor; the foliage can serve as a larval host for pipeline swallowtail butterfly.
Although not related with the spice ginger when broken, the rhizome will exhibit a ginger-like aroma and can be used as a substitute. Native Americans used it medicinal to treat colds and fevers.
Germination: slower by seeds than division but if you need to cover a large area this is still the best choice. It needs a period of warm-moist followed by cold-moist to germinate. Seeds are stored in moist vermiculite at room temperature until fall and then placed in cold storage.