Family

Birthroot.

Colour

Yellowish, spotted with brown-purple.

Odour

Scentless.

Range

Throughout the northern states.

Time Of Bloom

April, May.

Flowers: solitary; growing towards the ground on a slender peduncle in the fork of the tall leaves. Calyx: bell-shaped; three-lobed; the lobes spreading; acute. Corolla: none. Stamens: twelve. Pistil: one, with six spread-, ing stigmas. Fruit: a fleshy capsule that bursts and scatters many seeds.

Wild Ginger Asarum Canadense 162Wild Ginger Asarum Canadense 163Wild Ginger Asarum Canadense 164

Diagram of flower.

Leaves; on long petioles; broadly and deeply reniform; veined; velvety; pubescent. Rootstock: thick; creeping, with an aromatic flavour, like ginger.

Like the idolatrous Jews that buried their images in the earth, where they had to be dug for to be detected, does this plant hide its flower from the sight of men. No doubt, it has some theory in so doing that we have not been able to discover; but in any case, it has not kept the secret of its hiding place very well, as every country child knows where it is to be found. They call it, moreover, "little brown jug," and this is perhaps what has offended the dignity of the tall, solemn-looking leaves. When it is taken up from under the dried leaves of the winter, it is seen to be very pretty. Owing to its buried growth, its colouring is not brilliant, but the tones are those that are always termed genteel. Naturally, we are much interested in the blossoms as a quaint little character of marked originality.