Asarum europaeum

1. Asarum europaeum L. (C- and S-Eur., W-As.) – A very rare and probably decreasing alien. Already known around 1811 (Durand 1899). Known from rather few locations and probably extinct in most places (see Parent 2007 for a thorough overview). Recently still confirmed, for instance, from near Colfontaine (Bois de l’Evêque) (Saintenoy-Simon & Duvigneaud 2001) and Clairefontaine (at least since Parent 1968). Discovered in 2008 in small number in nature reserve Het Burreken in Brakel (De Clercq 2009), apparently the only location in Flanders. Two additional populations were recently discovered in the province of Luxembourg: Autelbas (2009) and Mont (2011). Asarum europaeum grows in damp woodland, usually on calcareous soils. In Clairefontaine and Mont it grows along with Petasites albus.

The residence status of Asarum europaeum in Belgium is controversial. Native status is sometimes claimed but all records obviously represent former introductions (near chapels,…). Parent (2007) demonstrated that it is probably not native in Belgium.

Asarum europaeum, Mont, by track in woodland, April 2011, R. Barense Asarum europaeum, Mont, by track in woodland, April 2011, R. Barense
Asarum europaeum, Mont, by track in woodland, April 2011, R. Barense  

Selected literature:

Czarnecka B. (1996) Clonal organization of population of Asarum europaeum and Maianthemum bifolium in contrasting woodland habitats. Vegetatio 125: 51-62. 

De Clercq R. (2009) Een nieuwe vondst voor de Vlaamse Ardennen. Mansoor – Asarum europaeum. Nieuwsbrief Planten Natuurpunt 9(2): 45-46.  Durand T. (1899) Phanérogames. In: De Wildeman E. & Durand T., Prodrome de la flore belge. A. Castaigne Editeur, Bruxelles: 1112 p. 

Grimme K. (1984) Freilanduntersuchungen zum Wasserhaushalt von Mercurialis perennis und Asarum europaeum. Flora 175: 249-256. 

Kukkonen I. & Uotila P. (1972) Asarum europaeum L. found in Finland. Ann. Bot. Fenn. 9: 37-40.  Kukkonen I. & Uotila P. (1977) On the taxonomy, morphology and distribution of Asarum europaeum (Aristolochiaceae). Ann. Bot. Fenn. 14: 131-142. 

Kukkonen I. & Uotila P. (1979) Asarum europaeum L. in southern Europe. Webbia 34: 507-511. 

Parent G.H. (2007) Etudes écologiques et chorologiques sur la flore lorraine. Note 24. La limite de l’aire d’indigénat d’Asarum europaeum en Lorraine. Adoxa 57: 11-22. 

Pfeiffer T. (2007) Vegetative multiplication and patch colonisation of Asarum europaeum subsp. europaeum L. (Aristolochiaceae) inferred by a combined morphological and molecular study. Flora 202: 89-97. 

Podobnik A. (1995) Asarum europeaum L. v Slovenjia. Biol. Vestn. 40(2): 35-49. 

Saintenoy-Simon J. & Duvigneaud J. (2001) Excursion à Hornu et à Colfontaine, le 9 septembre 2000. Adoxa 32: 29-32. 

Seybold S. (1974) Zur Unterscheidung von Asarum europaeum L.s.str. und Asarum ibericum Stev. ex Woron. Göttinger Flor. Rundbr. 8(2): 50-53.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith