This is really interesting. I've received several call lately wanting to know about growing ginseng in the extreme south: AR, AL, MS, LA, OK, etc. I know it grows well and naturally in the Ozark mountains, but I have no factual information about the Ouachitas and south. Please keep us all up to date on how your plants are doing and if forum members can help in any way.
I'd be interested in how much naturally occurring 'Sang you know of there! Please keep us posted on your growing there in the Deep South....
I am not sure that anyone could say with any certainty whether Ginseng growing in areas which are normally considered outside of Wild Ginseng's growing range, is naturally occurring. Wild Ginseng could have been introduced into these areas by settlers and pioneers moving further West and South out of the Appalachians or even by Native American Indian Tribes living in these locations that gathered or traded for Ginseng.
Since the show Appalachian Outlaws aired ... I have taken more than a hundred calls from non traditional ginseng producing states and providences along with ginseng producing states..I directed most of them here to this site to educate themselves on local state ginseng laws and to get tips on growing along where they can shop for seeds.
I have seen many new members signed up on Wildgrown.com I surmised they may have joined do to the show. Perhaps some will invest in the seed and learn how to plant it and grow it. Perhaps this will offset a small amount of the damage I believe this show has done and will do to the overall wild ginseng population.
For the record, Ginseng is an endangered plant. Anyone who says different does not know what is going on in the woods. I can assure you that those of us that have been digging or observing ginseng in the wild can attest to the fact that it is getting harder and harder to find wild ginseng.
Furthermore, finding old mature 40 plus year old mother plants are getting fewer and fewer.
So anyone saying that mature wild ginseng or any wild ginseng is not on the decline is making a statement that is not true. I am not saying they are lying, but perhaps they have not been in the deep woods in a while to know what is really going on.
Thanks for your willingness to post still while being in this difficult situation caused by this controversial show.
Since your back on the Wildgrown Board this morning I've got to ask you about a scene in the last episode of Appalachian Outlaws. When Greg's truck jumped out of gear on the steep rough road... was that scripted and edited or did that actually, accidently, happen? It sure looked real to me, and really dangerous! He's a lucky man to have pulled that off like he did. Thanks for a reply.
This is a map of the counties that ginseng is known to occur here in Mississippi. This past summer I did a lot of legwork and was able to find more than 1200 plants. Only around 300 of those were mature enough to harvest. My Dad started digging ginseng in the 1980's. The people that taught him about ginseng had been harvesting it in this county since before the Depression.
While it is likely that Wild Ginseng started naturally in the North Central and Northeastern parts of your State, I would venture from the map that you provided, that Wild Ginseng was introduced to many of the other areas by the Chickasaw and Choctaw Indians. The question is and one which would be a great lesson in Mississippi History, is whether the Ginseng was gathered or traded for by these tribes and then transplanted. However, the big question on everyone's mind would be, is \"How in the world did Ginseng get started in the extreme Southwest part of the State?\". Did it come from Wild Ginseng or Cultivated Ginseng stock? Was it traded for by the Houma Indians or imported by Settlers or Plantation owners or did someone transport the Ginseng down the Mississippi River for export to other parts of the World but their' boat, barge or raft sunk but they were able to save some of the Ginseng and transplanted it there to try to save it? If Wild Ginseng can survive in this portion of Mississippi, then it must have a unique environment (climate, canopy, types of trees and soil) that does not exist anywhere else that close to the Gulf Coast!
Thanks for posting the map and educating some of us old Ginsengers something that we never knew or would have even believed if you had not joined the Wildgrown forums!
I've often noticed that the Natchez Trace runs through the areas where ginseng is found. It's a centuries old trade route from Nashville to Natchez used by the Indians that runs through the heart of Mississippi. Coincidence? Possibly I guess. But as everyone here already knows, ginseng has to have near perfect conditions to grow and thrive. Only select places in Mississippi are suitable for it to grow. The Mississippi Delta is a flatland that floods with relatively no timber to provide the shade that ginseng needs. Where I live in the hills of the northeast part of the state, much if not most of our native hardwood timber has been clear cut and replaced with pine plantations. So in the few places suitable for ginseng to survive in Mississippi it is often killed out by logging, spraying and the replanting of pines.
I'm in Tallahatchie Co., was told by my husbands family that about 30 years ago sang was here and a few of the old timers sold it, but they are gone now. Plan to go up into the hills and have a look around after this bad weather breaks.