Hexastylis virginica

Hexastylis virginica (Asarum virginica) is a native, evergreen “Wild Ginger” used widely as a ground cover plant. Very low growing it as a hardy plant originally found on the edges of woodland areas in dappled shade.

Valued for its glossy silvery marbled foliage Hexastylis virginica prefers a well-drained soil. Also known as the ‘Virginia Heart-leaf’ this hardy ground-cover plant that will slowly spread to form an attractive mat. Red flowers in early spring are attractive but the main feature is the foliage.

Foliage and roots are aromatic when rubbed or crushed giving a ginger smell. The flowers are attractive, however usually held below the foliage and often escape being seen.


Try planting in groups of three around 12-18 in apart where the plants can grow together to form a mat. Also a great little plant for growing in a pot or container where the foliage is an attraction all year round.

Prepare soil well before planting by digging in well rotted compost and aged manure. Water in well with a liquid seaweed fertiliser.

The two names seem to come from the reclassification where the evergreen Asarums have been reclassified as Hexastylis.


  • Prostrate evergreen creeper or ground cover
  • Height to 6ft
  • Heart shaped mottled or variegated foliage
  • Zones 5a – 9b

Landscaping Uses

An excellent ground cover plant with attractive foliage. Can also be grown in containers.

Useful for the ability to grow well in deep shade. Grows well with Trilliums, Ferns, Hellebores and other shade loving plants.

Best planted near the edge of the border, or along a path so that the attractive foliage can be seen. Also excellent in mass plantings, although slow to establish.