Wild ginger is an attractive perennial and evergreen wildflower of ornamental value. The stems sprawl across the ground with the leaves held erect on long petioles. The thick, shiny, heart-shaped leaves are evergreen.The blades are leathery, 5-10 cm wide, and have entire margins.
The flowers are bell-shaped, reddish purple, with long curly but tapered points to the 3 wide petals. The flowers are found under the leaves where they are pollinated by insects.
The roots may be eaten fresh or dried as a ginger subsitiute.A tea made from the roots rids one of stomach pains.Eating the leaves makes one hungry and they may be used as a tuberculosis cure. Once established, the plants make attractive (but dense) ground covers in shady areas.
Wild ginger is typically found in thick, rich soil of moist, shady woods. It is most common below 4000'. Some individuals may be found in open talus slopes at timberline. These seem to be more tolerant of sunshine.
Wild ginger is found from British Columbia south to Oregon and east to northern Montana and western Montana.