Looking good Lenno,
It looks like you and I are on about the same time schedule. If you'll find us about 10-15 acres of good land that will grow this persnickety plant I'll just bring all of mine down to your place and we'll have a planting party. I'm going with my wife tomorrow and get some of mine in the ground. Good luck with yours.
There is some rather interesting work being done on ginseng genetics at this point. Which is why I asked. John Young of the US Geological Survey is doing some extensive work in this area. I got to see his presentation a couple weekends ago at the 2014 Ginseng Summit. He had a few graphics of his work which were really very interesting. In a nutshell, there are three main overarching strains of ginseng. Based on geographical locations, it seems that one strain is found mostly on the eastern side of the Appalachians, the second on the western side, and the third along the Ohio River Valley. There were other isolated populations with unique markers but lets keep it simple.
The stuff from Wisconsin was consistent with that of the Ohio River Valley group. This doesn't answer the question of whether the stuff found in the Ohio River Valley was replanted using seed from Wisconsin, or conversely if the stuff from Wisconsin was derived from wild seed collected along the Ohio River Valley. When I talked to him, John agreed either was possible.
I do not know with which group my seed will identify. However, I wonder if we can take interest in the differences Hugh points out and get a general idea of which group tends to ripen earlier if any. So, if any others are willing, chime in and lets see where your seed originates (as far as you know) and how far along the seeds are at this point.
And to topic, I was on a site visit, south-eastern/central KY (west of 75) and the owner had what he suspected tame seed and wild patches. The tame had full berries and some mature. The native still had some growing and filling on the berries.
*nod* the interesting thing to me, is if the three general genetic types identified by Young hold true, they run generally north and south along the Appilachian line with the exception of the Ohio River Valley type which hooks westward with the river.
So, I have to ask, is the issue northern or southern seed, or is it really eastern App., western App., or Ohio River which accounts for the difference in maturity throughout the year which we see.
I almost feel like you need to start a new thread to see if you can get more response to these questions. I am right on the border of these two types of seng that you mention being on a dividing line with the Appalachian Mountain range. I would like to hear more about Mr. Young's descriptions of these two strains of plants. I would like to know where (what latitude ) that the ginseng plants natural instincts bring it back into a normal time frame. There is this thing about altitude that seems to even ripening out on the early plants, but that may be only because it sprouts later at higher elevation because it's cooler there. This is very interesting and many of us in the South need to know more. Here is a picture of a young 3 year old plant from Wild Grown seed planted about 25 miles from my house in Morristown at 2500 feet elevation. This is just few days old and look at the difference in maturity compared to the ones at the house with ripe seeds.
Yesterday, July 14 I picked and planted about 100 ripe berries off some Wisconsin origin plants. Today I checked some Wild West of the Appalachians plants that a few are filling up berries but most are just beginning to bloom. This picture was taken today of a four prong that only has a few flowers opened. Having both strains is great because while I plant the early maturing seed it gives me good reason to get out and check the native plants.