Asarum europaeum

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Asarum europaeum L.

Aristolochiaceae

Life form: perennial
Usage: ornamental plant

Exposure: shade   5

Moisture: moderately moist bis Moisture: moist

Soil: sandy loam - Soil: sandy clay - Soil: loamy clay - Soil: peat

Arrangement: basal
Leaves: evergreen

Shape: reniform

Division: simple

Shape: three-stellate
Fruit: berry

171A / 93341b 

Inflorescence: solitary

Petals: single
Habit: erect

Growth form: prostrate

Taxonomy

Divisio:
Magnoliophyta
Subdivisio:
Magnoliophytina
Classis:
Piperopsida
Subclassis:
Piperidae
Superordo:
Lactoridanae
Ordo:
Aristochiales

Asarum europaeum is a perennial.

Naming

Asarum europaeum was described by Carl Linnaeus in 1753. The name is considered as validly published.

Taxonomy

Asarum europaeum is the type species of the genus Asarum which contains approximately 130 to 142 species and belongs to the family of the Aristolochiaceae (Birthwort Family).

Characteristics

Asarum europaeum - leaves
Asarum europaeum - flowers

Growth

The comparatively slow-growing perennials have a prostrate growth and reach heights of 8 to 10 centimetres. The plants reach a width of 30 to 60 centimetres.

Leaves

Asarum europaeum is evergreen. The green, simple leaves are basal. They are reniform and petiolate with entire margins and palmate venation. The leaves are around 5 centimetres large and have a glabrous surface.

Flowers and Fruits

Asarum europaeum produces solitary erect, brown three-stellate flowers from March to April. The plants are hermaphroditic.

The perennials carry brown berries.

Root System

The plants form rhizomes.

Distribution

Asarum europaeum is native to the whole of Europe.

Cultivation

The perennials prefer a shady situation on fresh to moist soil. The substrate should be sandy-loamy, sandy clay, loamy clay or peaty soil with a pH between 8 and 10. They tolerate temperatures down to -29°C (USDA zone 5).

Classification after Prof. Dr. Sieber

  • woods (soil usually rich in organic material)

Uses

Asarum europaeum is considered a very valuable wild perennial. The ornamental value lies especially in its fragrance. The recommended planting distance is 25 centimetres, the perennials are best planted in groups of 10 to more than 15. Suited for beds and borders, as well as suited as cemetery plant, groundcover and as slope plant.

Maintenance and Propagation

The plants need little to no maintenance if grown under suitable conditions.

Propagate by division.

Cultivars

Poisonousness

Asarum europaeum is toxic.

Aeskulap  Please read the health issues note

Pests and Diseases

Literature

  • Walter Erhardt, Erich Götz, Nils Bödeker, Siegmund Seybold: Der große Zander. Eugen Ulmer KG, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-8001-5406-7. (Ger.)
  • Christoper Brickell (Editor-in-chief): RHS A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants. Third edition. Dorling Kindersley, London 2003, ISBN 0-7513-3738-2.

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