Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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Asarum caudatum

Higher Taxonomy
Family: AristolochiaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Perennial herb, woody vine, [shrub], rhizomed, aromatic. Stem: branched, occasionally +- underground. Leaf: simple, basal, cauline, or arising from rhizome, alternate; blade generally cordate, entire. Inflorescence: flower generally 1, axillary or terminal. Flower: bisexual, radial or bilateral; sepals 3, free or fused; petals generally 0; stamens generally 6 or 12, free or fused to style; pistil generally 1, ovary +- or partly inferior, chambers generally 6. Fruit: generally capsule. Seed: many.
Genera In Family: 5--8 genera, +- 500 species: mainly tropics, warm temperate; some cultivated (Aristolochia, Asarum, Saruma).
eFlora Treatment Author: Michael R. Mesler & Karen Lu
Scientific Editor: Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: AsarumView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: WILD-GINGER
Habit: Rhizome shallowly horizontal or deeply +- vertical, plants spreading or clumped; roots gingery-aromatic. Leaf: from rhizome, generally evergreen; blade cordate to reniform. Inflorescence: flower terminal, at ground level. Flower: generally dark colored; sepals forming tube, persistent; stamens 12, free from style, tips generally appendaged. Fruit: fleshy capsule. Seed: with fleshy appendage, ant-dispersed.
Etymology: (Greek: derivation unknown)
Reference: Kelly 2001 Syst Bot 26:17--53
Asarum caudatum Lindl.
Habit: Plants generally spreading, forming loose mat; rhizomes near soil surface, horizontal. Leaf: blade all green. Inflorescence: peduncle +- horizontal. Flower: calyx lobes 2--9 cm, spreading in flower, long-tapered, maroon (rarely +- green), tube white inside with 1 median red stripe; stamen tip < pollen sacs, dark. Chromosomes: 2n=26.
Ecology: Moist places in forest; Elevation: < 2200 m. Bioregional Distribution: NW, CaRH, CCo, SnFrB; Distribution Outside California: to British Columbia, Montana. Flowering Time: Mar--Aug Note: Plants with short, reflexed, tapered calyx lobes from CaRH (McCloud River) resemble Asarum lemmonii but have horizontal inflorescence and longer calyx lobe taper.
Jepson eFlora Author: Michael R. Mesler & Karen Lu
Reference: Kelly 2001 Syst Bot 26:17--53
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Botanical illustration including Asarum caudatum

botanical illustration including Asarum caudatum

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Citation for this treatment: Michael R. Mesler & Karen Lu 2012, Asarum caudatum, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on June 22, 2024.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2024, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on June 22, 2024.

Asarum caudatum
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©2021 Neal Kramer
Asarum caudatum
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©2021 Neal Kramer
Asarum caudatum
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©2007 California Academy of Sciences
Asarum caudatum
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©2022 California Academy of Sciences
Asarum caudatum
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©2018 Julie Kierstead Nelson

More photos of Asarum caudatum
in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Asarum caudatum:
NW, CaRH, CCo, SnFrB
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map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).


Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).