Olga Volchkova: St. Wild Ginger Notecard
5 x 7 in. blank notecard with envelope
Olga Volchkova (American, b. Russia 1970)
Saint Asarum Canadense, from the Oregon Native Saints Series, 2018
In early spring, attractive dark red flowers of wild ginger appear on the Oregon forest floor. They look like advanced alien ships hidden from view by heart-shaped foliage. Although not related to culinary ginger, the roots produce a scent that is similar. Fresh or dried roots of wild ginger were used as a ginger substitute in times past, but the plant is not normally used today for culinary purposes as it may contain poisonous compounds. Wild ginger’s seeds attract ants, which carry the seeds to their underground homes where they eat the tasty outgrowths of the seeds and leave the seeds themselves to germinate. Wild ginger makes a beautiful addition to native gardens.