• No license is required to dig wild ginseng on private land in Indiana, but the property owner’s permission must be obtained.
• A Ginseng Dealer’s License is required to buy ginseng from harvesters or other dealers for resale or export from the state of Indiana.
• The harvest season for wild ginseng in Indiana is September 1 to December 31 and the selling season is September 1 to March 31 of the next year.
• Indiana state law requires all harvested plants to have at least 3 prongs and a flowering or fruiting stalk present. All harvested plants must also have at least 4 bud scars (“internodes”) on the neck (“rhizome”).
• Indiana requires that mature fruits and seeds be planted in the vicinity where the plant was dug and in a manner that encourages germination.
• Ginseng may not be harvested on state land in Indiana, including all properties managed by the state’s Dept. of Natural Resources.
• The Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Nature Preserves, serves as the state’s ginseng coordinator, and can be reached at (317) 232-4052 or:
402 W. Washington St., Rm W-267
Indianapolis, IN 46204-2739
• Collection of ginseng is not allowed in the Hoosier National Forest. Contact Hoosier National Forest by calling (812) 547-7051 or via mail:
248 15th Street
Tell City, IN 47586
Provided by the American Herbal Products Association, in cooperation with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and United Plant Savers
The purpose of Indiana’s ginseng program (Public Law 107 (IC 14-4-8) and Ginseng Rule (312 IAC 19) is to insure a healthy population for the future. The HARVEST SEASON was instituted to encourage replanting of the seeds when they are ripe and insure that only mature plants are taken. Registration of dealers and certification of ginseng is required in order to monitor the health of the population. The SELLING SEASON was established for this purpose. Ginseng that is bought for resale must be certified by a Conservation Officer. By monitoring reports from dealers it is easier to determine if ginseng is declining and needs further protection.
HARVEST SEASON (SEPTEMBER 1 TO DECEMBER 31 OF EACH YEAR): Harvesters can legally dig wild ginseng. Harvesters do not need a license to dig ginseng nor sell ginseng to a licensed dealer.
SELLING SEASON (SEPTEMBER 1 OF CURRENT YEAR THROUGH MARCH 31 OF THE NEXT YEAR): Dealers can legally purchase ginseng from harvesters. When reselling ginseng purchased directly from harvesters, the dealer must fill out a form certifying the ginseng’s origin and weight. A copy of the certification must accompany the ginseng when it is shipped.
Rules to follow
1: It is ILLEGAL to harvest wild ginseng out of season. A Class A misdemeanor.
2: To harvest LEGALLY, a ginseng plant must have: at least 3 prongs and a flowering or fruiting stalk, or at least 4 internodes on the rhizome. To harvest plants not meeting these criteria is a Class B infraction.
3: It is REQUIRED that mature fruits and any seeds on the harvested ginseng be planted in the vicinity where the plant was dug and in a manner that encourages germination.
4: It is REQUIRED that the entire stalk and leaves be retained with the plant until it is taken to the harvester’s residence or place of business, unless the root has at least 4 internodes on the rhizome.
5: It is ILLEGAL to sell or remove mature fruits and seeds from the vicinity where the ginseng was taken.
6: It is ILLEGAL to buy, sell, or possess any ginseng out of season without written authorization from the Department of Natural Resources, Division of Law Enforcement. A Class B misdemeanor.
7: It is ILLEGAL to buy uncertified ginseng for resale without an Indiana Ginseng Dealer’s License. A Class B misdemeanor.
8: ONLY certified ginseng can be sold to a buyer in another state. To export uncertified ginseng is a Class A misdemeanor.
9: HARVEST ginseng only where it is permitted—digging on State property is not allowed; digging on private property without permission is theft; digging on other properties may require a permit.
10: Anyone violating these rules will be prosecuted.