Well 15 years or so after my grandfather first took me out hunting ginseng, I found my first 5 prong plant today while out turkey hunting. I was looking for ginseng a lot harder than hunting for turkey atleast thats my excuse for not putting a tag on one today. Anyhow, I had been find lots of nice 3 prongs and a hand full of 4 prongs and then this one. You'd of thought I had shot the world record turkey by the holler I let out when I found it. Hope the root matches the size of plant when I go out harvesting this fall. Thought you would all enjoy the pics. Sorry about the quality, cellphone.
I have been hunting seng since 1976 and never found a 5 around here.
I did find one - probably 20 years ago now - that had 3 - 3 prong tops comming off the same root and have found several more that had double 3 prong tops off the same root. Never a 5 though.
One of my old seng hunting buddies told me his dad found a 7 prong once. It first came up to a 4 prong then where the berry stem normally was it went on up to a second deck that had 3 prongs, then had a berry stem on top of that.
I would love to find one like that too.
Perhaps this year will be my lucky year to find a special top or a 5 prong.
PS - looks like that plant you found is going to have a nice wad of berries too and looking at how big and healthy it is, the thick stem, and those big full broad leaves I bet you are going to have a real nice root there too.