State Laws about Ginseng: United States Wild Ginseng Law and Regulations
 

If you are a ginseng harvester or thinking about going digging wild ginseng, be sure to follow your state's basic rules and regulations of ginseng, especially if you are harvesting on private land.

Use the Ginseng State Laws on this web site as a guideline only. No way we can keep up with all the laws of each state change.

 

Growing Wild Ginseng as a Business

Stewardship Harvesting of American Wild Ginseng


** For Regulations to export American wild ginsengs click here

NEVER: Take anything from public land or parks. All animals, plants, seeds, trees, herbs, and everything else belongs to the public and it is illegal to remove anything. If you get caught you will probably get the maximum fine.

NEVER: Dig ginseng outside of the harvest season. Find out the harvest season for your state and only take it in this time frame.

Since ginseng is protected as an endangered species under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES, which also regulates trade in rare animals), harvesters need to understand some simple rules. 

While federal policies guide state ginseng management programs, each state tends to have different guidelines that are reflective of their different contexts such as dates of open harvest season, minimum age of plants at harvest, replanting of seeds, etc..


State Ginseng Laws and Regulations

State Harvest season

Harvest permitted on State lands

Require seeds to be planted at site Minimum age (number of leaves/prongs) required for harvested plants
Alabama Sept 1 - Dec 13

yes with permit

yes

3 prongs
Arkansas Sept 1 - Dec 1

no

yes

5 years, 3 prongs
Georgia Sept 1 - Dec 31

no

yes

3 prongs
Illinois Last Saturday in August- Nov 1

no

encouraged

no requirement
Indiana Sept 1 - Dec 31

no

no

3 prongs, a  flowering or fruiting stalk, or 4 internodes on root
Iowa Sept 1- Oct 31

no in State parks or preserves;
yes in State forest and wildlife areas

yes

3 prongs
Kentucky Sept 1 - Dec 1

yes in State forests;
no in State parks

yes

5 years, 3 prongs
Maryland Sept 1 - Dec 1

yes in State forests;
no in State parks

yes

5 years, 3 prongs
Minnesota Sept 1 - Dec 31

yes in some State forests

yes

3 prongs
Missouri Sept 1 - Dec 31

no

yes

3 prongs or plants with fruiting stems
New York Sept 1 - Nov 30

no

yes

3 prongs
North Carolina Sept 1 – April 1

no

yes

5 years, 3 prongs
Ohio Sept 1 – Dec 31

no

yes

3 prongs
Pennsylvania Sept 1 - Nov 30

no

yes

3 prongs
Tennessee Sept 1 - Dec 31

only on Royal Blue Wildlife Management Area

yes

5 years, 3 prongs
Vermont Aug 20 - Oct 10

no

yes

5 years, 3 prongs
Virginia Sept 1 - Dec 31

yes

no

3 prongs
West Virginia Sept 1 - Nov 30

no

yes

3 prongs
Wisconsin Sept 1 – Nov 1

no

yes

3 prongs and mature fruits

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