so ive been out of the game for awhile. the last few months ive been in the woods scouting and taking in what i can, trying to get back some of knowledge i used to have. i am starting to recognize some companion plants in the woods, and ive even spotted a handful or so of mature ginseng plants. ive been thinking wee should put together a list of companion plants for ginseng. i searched the forum and just found little replies here and there listing someones personal list of companion plants. my thoughts are that it would be nice to list #1 what state or area of a state you live in, and #2 your list of companion plants. i know some if not most will differ, but i just thought it would be interesting. growing up i was always told that it grows close to where ferns grow. now i am realizing that i find much more cohosh and solomon's seal around all the ginseng in my part of ohio, so here goes...
Location: South Central Ohio
List of local companion plants:
#1 - solomon's seal(i always seem to find this in close proximity to seng)
#2 - cohosh (usually find this in the general area of ginseng)
#3 - jack in the pulpit(other than ferns, this is the only companion i was aware of as a child)
#4 - ferns (they love the shade and slopes)
#5 - mushrooms(i know the seasons are way apart, but i heard that ginseng is likely to grow in the same area)
#6 - goldenseal (i usually find small amounts of this around here, sometimes i will stumble onto a patch)
#7 - wild ginger (im not so great at identifying this most of the year, but just read it is good indicator)
#8 - wild yams (again, i dont know much about these just read it somewhere)
I am from the southern middle Tennessee area and have been hunting seng since around 1976..
I have always noticed MaidenHair Fern (MHF) and Bainberry as being very good seng companion plants. There is also another spindly vine type plant with clusters of 3 leaves which is called American Hog peanut. When we find the hog peanut growing nice and thick and healthy looking - there is usually seng nearby.
In my opinion the MHF is the absolute best companion plant for seng.
In Scott Persons book he gives this list of \"plants that are known to grow right along side of ginseng\".
MHF, rattlesnake fern, christmas fern, baneberry, yellow lady's slipper, blood root, blue cohosh, black cohosh, wild ginger, solomons seal & false solomons seal, jack-in-the-pulpit, trilliums, form flower, jewelweed, mayapple, goldenseal, sweet cicely, yelloy mandarin, dutchmans pipe, bedstraw, liverwort, canadian violet...
But he goes on to say...
Some of these companion plants are cal-cicoles (normally growing in calcerous soils) and need conditions nearly identical to ginseng. Then he gives this short list of those..
1.. MHF (MaidenHair Fern). He list this one first.
2.. Yellow Lady's Slipper
4.. Blue Cohosh
I think he listed MHF first - because he agrees with me
Below is a youtube vid of mine showing some MFH, hog peanut and a 4 prong seng plant.
Below is a nice pic of some MHF and look just up the hill from it.. a couple of nice old seng plants.
I always slow right down when I see a site like this. Same here Lenno, when I see bainberry I know it's the right place...get ready to get your hands dirty and nails broken!!! Anyone know what that grassy looking stuff is in the bottom right? It grows in clumps and I sometimes find that in good areas too.
The guy that taught me to dig would say, \"first keep your head up and look for the right spot, a cool spot with a drainage coming down off the side of a hill.\" We also look for good Sugar Maple woods here in Vermont. A \"sugarbush\"! Then we start looking for companion plants.
Good advice guys, I don't have much to add. I think that maidenhair ferns are at the top of my list with jack-in-the-pulpit, Solomon's seal, black cohosh, and wild ginger being my next favorites. maple, poplar and beach et trees always get my attention.
nice, those pics really help alot. im going to have to get a nice book or pocket guide to take along with me in the woods. you guys have no idea how much this helps me. my cousin taught me a few things when we used to go out hunting, but i dont think he really knew a whole lot. his dad just taught him how to find it and showed him a few spots, and he did the same to me. access to all this info on the internet really helps out tons.
Definitely Maidenhair fern as a indicator but here in Missouri the Paw Paw bush always makes me look harder as they prefer rich soil .I even look on wrong side of hill as far as the paw paw grows . good Luck !
This document has a large section titled \"Results From Pennsylvania Ginseng Habitat Research: Identifying \"Indicators\" for Forest Farming.\" by Eric Burkhart. There are a lots of companion plants varying in abundance in ginseng sites. Of course this will vary in different states.