Asarum albivenium Regel
Asarum leucodictyon Miq.
Heterotropa asaroides C.Morren & Decne.
Heterotropa blumei (Duch.) F.Maek.
Close-up of the flowers of a pot-grown specimen
Photograph by: KENPEI
Asarum blumei is a low-growing, herbaceous perennial plant producing a cluster of leaves up to 10cm tall from a creeping rootstock, The rather interesting, but unpleasant-smelling flowers are hidden amongst the leaves[
The plant is harvested from the wild for medicinal use.
Although no reports of toxicity have been found for this plant, at least 3 other members of this genus have reports that the leaves are toxic[
]. Some caution is therefore advised in the use of this plant.
E. Asia - Japan (Honshu)
Damp shady spots on mountain sides[
Plants are hardy to at least -15°c[
Prefers a rich moist neutral to acid soil in woodland or a shady position in the rock garden[
The flowers are malodorous and are mainly self-pollinated but are also pollinated by mycotrophic flies[
Plants often self-sow when growing in a suitable position[
A decoction of the root is analgesic, antitussive, carminative, expectorant and antitussive[
]. It is used in the treatment of sore throats[
Seed - best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe in the summer[
]. Stored seed will require 3 weeks cold stratification and should be sown in late winter[
]. The seed usually germinates in the spring in 1 - 4 or more weeks at 18°c[
]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in light shade in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out when large enough in late spring.
Division in spring or autumn. Plants are slow to increase[
]. It is best to pot the divisions up and keep them in light shade in the greenhouse until they are growing away strongly.