Asarum caudatum “Wild Ginger” Aristolochiaceae

Weir Hot Springs, Clearwater National Forest, ID
June 8, 2015
Robert Niese

The leaves of Asarum caudatum (a PNW endemic) smell like ginger when you rub them, but apparently contain carcinogens and may or may not be good in your tea. Their flowers grow on the ground beneath the leaves and are pollinated by beetles, flies, and even rodents. Pollinated flowers produce seeds with a fatty elaiosomes that are collected by ants and subsequently planted in the colony. 

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