Asarum splendens 'Quicksilver'

Common Name: wild ginger 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Aristolochiaceae
Zone: 5 to 9
Height: 0.50 to 0.75 feet
Spread: 0.75 to 1.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: Dark purple to brown, lavender
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Ground Cover, Naturalize
Flower: Insignificant
Leaf: Colorful
Tolerate: Rabbit, Deer, Heavy Shade


Best grown in evenly moist, humusy, rich, well-draining loams in part sun to part shade. Tolerant of a relatively wide range of soil pH levels, but intolerant of poorly drained or dry soils. Hardy in Zones 5-9. Will remain semi-evergreen in the warmer parts of its hardiness zone range, but will die back to the ground in climates with winter temperatures below 10°F. A thick winter mulch is recommend in these colder climates. Easily propagated in early spring by root division.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Asarum splendens, commonly called Chinese wild ginger, is a low-growing, rhizomatous, semi-evergreen to herbaceous perennial native to moist forest openings, grasslands, and slopes of south-central China. Mature clumps will reach up to 8" tall and spread to fill a 1.5' area. A relatively quick spreader compared to other species of Asarum. The glossy, cordate leaves can reach up to 4" long and 3.5" wide and are dark green with silvery white variegation. Dark purple to brown colored flowers bloom in spring underneath the foliage.

Genus name comes from the Latin and Greek name.

The specific epithet splendens means "splendid", possibly in reference to the showy leaf variegation of this species.

'Quick Silver' is a compact selection of Chinese wild ginger that features more highly variegated foliage compared to the species. This selection will reach around 8" tall and spread to fill a 1' area.


Root rot may occur in poorly drained soils. Watch for slug and snail damage. Deer and rabbits tend to avoid this plant.


A good ground cover for woodland gardens and shady mixed borders. Suitable for use in containers.