I heart Wild Ginger

Violet on the left, ginger on the right

Wild ginger is a different species from the kind of ginger you see in the supermarket, but they have a very similar flavor and the same medicinal uses: good for relieving an upset stomach, expelling gas, and stimulating circulation. Wild ginger has leaves that are more pungent than its roots and makes a nice tasting tea. It has a heart-shaped leaf that looks similar to violets (the flowers of which are edible) and wild or false lily-of-the-valley . The latter requires caution, as some kinds of lily-of-the-valley are poisonous.
This is lily-of-the-valley.

These three plants look similar and all grow in the same kind of habitat: shady places like forests. Here’s a good way to tell them apart: when rubbed, wild ginger leaves release a pleasant ginger/citrus aroma, and also, the leaf veins make circular, roundish patterns; in contrast, violet has veins that branch out toward the edges of the leaves and lily-of-the-valley has parallel veins that do not branch. Check out the pictures for a visual comparison.

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  1. Pingback: Five Things To Do With Wild Violets « First Ways

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