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Lily Lion Heart

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Awe-Inspiring Asarum!


A few years back I bought a booklet on Japanese and Chinese Asarum. The Japanese know how to grow plants in pot culture and boy can they display their plants. This art of horticulture, meticulous display and love of the natural world has existed for many centuries in Japan and is evident in the Genus Asarum, Hepatica, Cymbidium to name a few. They display these gems with such zeal, passion and skill that it stops one in their tracks.
The book came from the now defunct nursery Asiatica. The book is in Japanese with and English translation in a separate booklet.  It primarily focuses on Japanese Asarum but mentions Chinese, North American and European species. It features both species and many cultivars. It is a beautiful piece of art really and I recommend it just for the pictures alone. It conjures up images of show benches of Asarum in a Zen garden replete with a temple and tea ceremony in the foreground.
The plant in my post is Asarum maximum `Green Panda`. Native to Hubei and Sichuan China it is hardy to 10F. It should be grown in part to full shade always kept moist. Mine grows in my cold greenhouse for the Winter and stays evergreen. The flowers are a beautiful velvety soft chocolate colour with white centres. Asarum is in the Aristolochiaceae family or birthwort family, known as Wild Ginger.


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