Herbs & Plants (Spices)

Asarum maximum

Botanical Name: Asarum maximum
Family: Aristolochiaceae
Genus: Asarum
Species: A. maximum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Piperales

Common Name : Ling Ling Panda Face Ginger

Habitat :Asarum maximum is native to E. Asia – China in Hubei and E. Sichuan. It grows in the forests in humus rich soils at elevations of 600 – 800 metres.

Asarum maximum is a perennial herb growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in).
This clumping species from China has large, 6″, glossy, rounded arrowhead-shaped, green leaves. It is certainly best-known for its stunning flowers (often the subject of fine paintings). It is in flower from May to June. The 2″ flower is velvet-black outside with a stunning white interior. This easy-to-grow species really responds well to rich humus-laden soils and high fertility. A well-grown 10″ tall x 18″ wide clump of Asarum maximum ‘Green Panda’ is simply stunning as well as deer-resistant .


The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Flies.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) or semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers moist soil.

Prefers a rich moist neutral to acid soil in woodland or a shady position in the rock garden[1, 200]. Plants are hardy to at least -15°c. The flowers are malodorous and are pollinated by flies. Plants often self-sow when growing in a suitable position.

Seed – best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe in the summer. Stored seed will require 3 weeks cold stratification and should be sown in late winter. The seed usually germinates in the spring in 1 – 4 or more weeks at 18°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in light shade in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out when large enough in late spring. Division in spring or autumn. Plants are slow to increase. It is best to pot the divisions up and keep them in light shade in the greenhouse until they are growing away strongly.

Medicinal Uses:
The dried plant is used medicinally in Vietnam. The leaves ate used in the treatment of dyspepsia and colic whilst the flowers and roots are used as a reconstituent. Analgesic, expectorant. Used as a gargle for sore throats etc
Known Hazards: Although no reports of toxicity have been found for this plant, at least 3 other members of this genus have reports that the leaves are toxic. Some caution is therefore advised in the use of this plant.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Asarum maximum Ling Ling

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