Upright Wild Ginger Saruma henryi

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
upright wild ginger


Saruma henryi, commonly known as the upright wild ginger, is a perennial plant that stands out with a distinctive appearance. It possesses a lush, velvety foliage with broad, heart-shaped leaves that have a slightly fuzzy texture, giving the plant a soft and inviting look. The color of the leaves is generally a rich green which provides a striking backdrop to the flowers. The blooms of the upright wild ginger are yellow and have three-petaled flowers which resemble little stars, with each petal spreading outward from the center, giving the plant a cheerful aspect when in bloom. These flowers dangle gracefully under the canopy of the leaves, adding a subtle yet noticeable flush of color to the green canvas of the foliage. The stems of the upright wild ginger are sturdy and upright, maintaining a vertical posture which allows the leaves to be displayed in a tiered fashion, providing density and volume to the plant's silhouette. The overall presentation of Saruma henryi is one of gentle elegance and understated beauty, with its soft-textured leaves and dainty yellow flowers contributing to its allure in any garden setting.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Upright Wild Ginger, Henry's Saruma

    • Common names

      Asarum henryi, Heterotropa henryi

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Saruma henryi, commonly known as upright wild ginger, is not widely reported to be toxic to humans. However, due to the vast variety of plants and the possibility of individual allergies or sensitivities, it is always advisable to be cautious and avoid ingesting plants that are not commonly recognized as food. If a person suspects poisoning from any plant substance, they should contact a medical professional or poison control center immediately.

    • To pets

      Saruma henryi, known as upright wild ginger, is not specifically documented to be toxic to pets. However, similar to the advice given to humans, pet owners should prevent their animals from consuming plants not specifically intended for animal consumption. If a pet owner suspects their animal has ingested upright wild ginger and is showing signs of illness, they should contact a veterinarian as soon as possible.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      3 feet (0.91 meters)

    • Spread

      2 feet (0.61 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental value: Saruma henryi, commonly known as Upright Wild Ginger, is valued for its aesthetic appeal in gardens and landscapes due to its attractive heart-shaped leaves and soft yellow flowers.
    • Shade tolerance: This plant thrives in shady areas where many other plants might struggle, making it an excellent choice for woodland gardens or shaded borders.
    • Low maintenance: Upright Wild Ginger is known for being low maintenance, requiring minimal care once established in the appropriate environment.
    • Drought resistance: Once established, it can tolerate periods of drought, reducing the need for frequent watering.
    • Wildlife attraction: The flowers may attract certain insects and pollinators, contributing to the biodiversity of the garden ecosystem.
    • Ground cover: Its growth habit makes it suitable for use as a ground cover, where it can help prevent soil erosion and suppress weed growth.
    • Seasonal interest: Saruma henryi provides visual interest throughout multiple seasons with its foliage, flowers, and fruit structures.
    • Non-invasive: Unlike some other ground covers, Upright Wild Ginger is not considered invasive, so it spreads at a manageable rate without overtaking other plants.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Saruma henryi leaves can be used for creating natural botanical prints on fabrics due to their interesting texture and shape.
    • The fibrous stems of the Saruma henryi might be utilized in the production of paper or as a component in handmade paper crafts.
    • The plant's unique three-petaled flowers can serve as inspiration for floral designs, patterns, and motifs in art and design fields.
    • Saruma henryi can act as a teaching tool in botany or horticulture classes for discussing unique herbaceous perennials from China.
    • The plant can provide ground cover in shaded garden areas, helping to reduce soil erosion while adding aesthetic appeal.
    • The flowers of Saruma henryi may be used as natural decorations for food platters or cake toppings as they are not known to be toxic.
    • Dried leaves and stems can be incorporated into potpourri mixes for their texture, adding a woodland element to the assortment.
    • Due to its rarity and attractive appearance, Saruma henryi can be cultivated and sold as a specialty plant for collectors and enthusiasts.
    • Live Saruma henryi plants or cuttings can be used in butterfly gardens to attract pollinators and serve as a source of nectar.
    • In landscape photography, Saruma henryi plants can enhance the depth and composition of a shaded forest ground scene.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The plant Saruma henryi is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The plant Saruma henryi is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Resilience: Saruma henryi, commonly known as upright wild ginger, often symbolizes resilience due to its ability to thrive in various soil conditions and withstand different climates.
    • Healing: With its medicinal properties, upright wild ginger represents healing and the treatment of ailments, historically used in traditional medicine.
    • Rarity: As a less common garden plant, upright wild ginger can symbolize uniqueness or rarity, celebrating the individuality of both the plant and its admirer.
    • Peaceful retreat: The plant's shade-loving nature and preference for calm environments can make it emblematic of a peaceful retreat or sanctuary.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring-early summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    The upright wild ginger should be watered thoroughly, ensuring that the soil is moist but not waterlogged. Water the plant when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch which may roughly translate to watering every 7 to 10 days, depending on the humidity and temperature conditions. During active growth in the spring and summer, it may require slightly more frequent watering. Use enough water to ensure even moisture throughout the pot, which could be around 1-2 gallons for a large container. In the winter, reduce watering frequency as the plant enters a dormancy period.

  • sunLight

    The upright wild ginger thrives best in partial shade to full shade conditions. It should be placed in a spot that receives indirect sunlight or filtered light, as direct sunlight can scorch the leaves. A north-facing window or a shaded spot in a garden that mimics the dappled light of its native woodland habitat would be an ideal location.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The upright wild ginger prefers moderate temperatures and does well in a typical indoor range of 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. It can survive brief exposure to temperatures as low as 50 degrees Fahrenheit and as high as 80 degrees Fahrenheit, but sustained extremes can be harmful. The ideal conditions are those that emulate the cool, steady climate of its natural forest floor environment.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning the upright wild ginger is beneficial for removing any yellow or damaged foliage and to maintain a tidy appearance. It's best to prune in the early spring before new growth begins. Generally, pruning can be done on an as-needed basis, when you notice dead or unhealthy leaves.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    For upright wild ginger, a well-draining, fertile soil rich in organic matter is ideal. Mix equal parts of garden soil, compost, and perlite or pine bark fines. Maintain soil pH between 5.5 to 7.0 for optimal growth.

  • plantRepotting

    Upright wild ginger should be repotted every two to three years. If the plant becomes root-bound or the soil appears depleted, it is time to repot. Choose a slightly larger pot to give the roots room to grow.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Upright wild ginger thrives at moderate humidity levels, similar to those found in a typical home environment. Humidity around 40-60% is suitable and promotes healthy growth.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place upright wild ginger in bright, indirect light and water regularly.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in part shade, rich soil, and water when topsoil is dry.

    • Hardiness zone

      4-8 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Saruma henryi, commonly known as upright wild ginger, begins its life cycle when seeds germinate in moist, well-drained soil in a shady environment. The young seedlings develop a rhizomatous root system from which heart-shaped, velvety leaves emerge. As the plant matures, it forms a clumping habit with stems reaching up to 18 to 24 inches tall. In the spring, the upright wild ginger produces small, yellow, tri-petaled flowers that are often nestled close to the stems beneath the foliage. After pollination, typically by insects, the flowers develop into seed capsules, which when ripe, release seeds to start the next generation. The plant enters a dormant phase in the winter, with the above-ground foliage dying back, and the rhizomes surviving underground until the next growing season.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-early summer

    • Propogation: For Saruma henryi, commonly known as upright wild ginger, the most popular method of propagation is by division. This method is generally performed in early spring or fall when the plant is not in active growth. To propagate by division, a gardener would carefully dig up the plant, ensuring as much of the root system as possible is intact. The root mass is then gently divided into smaller sections, each with several healthy shoots and roots. These sections are immediately replanted in well-prepped soil, spaced appropriately to allow for growth. They should be watered thoroughly to help establish the divisions in their new locations. The new plants typically take root and start growing within a few weeks, depending on the growing conditions.