Of course the name of this plant always makes me smile. My name is Ginger, of course, so Wild Ginger just sounds so…wild and fun and rather appealing. This plant is not really a ginger like the root we use in cooking. That is Zingiber officinale and only grows in the tropics. Our native Wild Ginger is actually called Asarum canadense. But it gets its name from the spicy roots that have been used medicinally.
On the forest floor in the spring we know to look for pretty, delicate little wildflowers like Rue Anemone or bright patches of color like Virginia Bluebell. But there is a quiet and subtle wildflower that charms me with its geometric symmetry and patterning. It’s the group of flowers known as Trillium. During my hike this week on the Sac River Trail the Trillium that’s blooming is the one known as Toadshade, or Trillium sessile. A rather awful sounding name, I think, but it does grow in the damp forest shade where you might expect to see a little toad hopping around.