Hazelwort as ground cover - quite a lovely sight
The native hazelwort Asarum europaeum belongs to the family of the Easter figs and to the order of the pepper family. The hazel root has many names in the vernacular. Other names for this natural ground cover are hare poplar, little hare, hare pepper, witch smoke, incense and bird's cap, to name but a few. The evergreen and perennial plant often grows in nature under hazel bushes, which may have contributed to its name. The small plant grows to a maximum height of 10 to 15 centimetres. The bell-shaped flowers attract bees and insects. This very hardy forest perennial thus contributes to biodiversity in ecosystems such as forests, parks and gardens and helps to counteract insect mortality.
Covers the ground where little else grows
Asarum europaeum is a versatile and completely hairy plant whose root smells like ginger. The inconspicuous but pretty plant adapts to almost any garden style and also to many other plants. The evergreen, kidney-shaped and glistening flowers are also an ornament in winter. This makes hazelroot ideal as a ground cover in rockery and gateways in front of the house, but also in other places in the garden where hardly anything else grows. The flowers of the plant have a reddish-brown colour and they later form capsule-shaped fruits. The flowering period is from March to April, so that hazelwort also brings some colour into the garden early on. Asarum europaeum is also suitable for planting under perennials and shrubs such as hortensia, garden marshmallow, cherry maple, garden jasmine and many other plants, shrubs and hedges.
Hazelwort is a dense plant with a high density.
A dense, creeping and attractive groundcover
The native hazel is a dense, creeping, evergreen and flat-topped plant that is not affected by a hard winter. Asarum europaeum is quite undemanding and thrives well in shade and partial shade. The plant can be kept in the ground all year round. The hazelwort loves calcareous, moist rather than dry and only moderately nutrient-rich soil. The small attractive plant itself contributes to loosening the soil. Its roots and leaves actually taste of pepper, but it is better not to test this. The rhizome contains camphor-like substances and oils that irritate the mucous membranes and can cause sneezing. In powdered form, the dried rhizomes used to be used as an ingredient in snuff. In contrast to past times, the rhizome is no longer used in pharmacy today. The hazel root as a ground cover is completely harmless to humans and animals and simply looks pretty.