Wild Ginger (Asarum caudatum)
This strange dark flower grows close to the forest floor, requiring one to hunt under the tell-tale heart-shaped leaves to find it. Its discovery can make your day!
The flower has no petals, only sepals, which, in the northwest species, end in long threads or tails, giving it the Latin caudatum, meaning “tailed.” The East Coast variety was widely gathered by early settlers as a ginger substitute. All parts give off a ginger-like smell when broken or crushed.