ginseng (j-n`sng), common name for the Araliaceae, a family of tropical herbs, shrubs, and trees that are often prickly and sometimes grow as climbing forms. The true ginseng (Panax ginseng), long prized by the Chinese for its medicinal qualities, was in such demand that a North American ginseng, P. quinquefolius, was imported in large quantities as a substitute. Both species have been all but exterminated in the wild by commercial exploitation. The herbal medicine ginseng is prepared from the plants' dried roots; it is used as a mild sedative and to increase stamina.
The widely varied family includes also the dwarf ginseng (P. trifolium) of North America; the English ivy (Hedera helix), a popular ornamental evergreen vine; the Hercules'-club, devil's-club, or devil's-walking-stick (names applied to several related species) of North America and E Asia, used locally for medicinal purposes; and the rice-paper plant (Tetrapanax papyriferus) of China, the pith of which is used to make Chinese rice paper. Native American species of this family include the wild sarsaparilla (Aralia nudicaulis) and the American, or wild, spikenard (A. racemosa). The names sarsaparilla sarsaparilla (s?rs'pYr-l`Y, ss'?)
..... Click the link for more information. and spikenard spikenard (sp+k`n?rd), name for several plants.
..... Click the link for more information. are applied also to plants of other families.
thats CRAZY ... ive dug alot of Ginseng in my time ... but i have NEVER seen anything close to that size ... other than paw paw trees ... LOL .... a friend of mine hit a new woods the other day and dug 290+ mature 4 prong plants !! supposed to hit some new woods here in the next few days and would LOVE to see some BIG mature plants ... since i havent dug in a few years its been awhile for me to walk up on some HAWGS .... congrats on the finds yall !! ... hey let me know if you could email me a pic of that plant so i can print it out to show my friends ... they would flip out !! thanks