Grow your own! Save the forest!
For Planting: Ginseng Seeds | Ginseng Rootlets
Products: Dried Ginseng Roots | Dried Ginseng Slices | Ginseng Powder | Ginseng Tea Bags
A Five Year Old American Ginseng, Steve Nix/ About Forestry
American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius, L.) is a
perennial herb that grows under a portion of the deciduous forests of the
eastern United States. Wild ginseng once thrived throughout most of the nation's
eastern seaboard. Because of a demand for ginseng root, which is mainly used
for its healing and curative properties, ginseng may be over-harvested and has
attained endangered species status in some locations. Ginseng diggers are
constantly encouraged to abide by all laws, leave young seedlings and plant
mature seed. The plant is making a serious comeback in some locations.
Harvesting of "wild" ginseng
is legal but only during a specific season defined by your state. It is also
illegal to dig ginseng for export if the plant is less than 5 years old (CITES
regs). The season is usually the autumn months and requires you to be aware of
other federal regulations for harvesting on their lands. Currently, 18 states
issue licenses to export it.
Letís identify Panax quinquefolius:
American ginseng's three-pronged (or more) five-leaflet display of the mature
plant can help you identify the plant (see above 5-proned wild ginseng photo).
W. Scott Persons, in "American Ginseng, Green Gold", says the best
way to identify "sang" during the digging season is to look for the
red berries. These berries plus the unique yellowing leaves toward the end of
the season make excellent field markers.
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