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American Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius)

American ginseng, Panax quinquefolius, is native to eastern North America and can be found in rich woodlands from Quebec to Alabama, west to Minnesota, Missouri, and Nebraska. A member of the Araliaceae family, it is an herbaceous perennial and grows as an understory plant in densely shaded deciduous hardwood forests. Ginseng emerges in late April from a dormant bud on the upper end of the root. The plant grows to a height of twelve to twenty-four inches and has three compound leaves, with five toothed leaflets, that are joined at the top of an erect stem. Greenish-white flowers bloom in late spring or early summer. Green berries follow and ripen to red by late summer.

There are three different methods of growing ginseng. Wild simulated describes ginseng grown in the forest with little or no maintenance, taking more years to harvest, but often bringing in a comparable price to wild harvested material. Woods grown ginseng describes the method of planting ginseng in the woods, in prepared beds, using the forest trees as a natural canopy. This type of ginseng sells for substantially less than wild harvested or wild simulated roots but produces a larger crop much faster. Field grown ginseng is cultivated in beds and grown under an artificial shade structure. This method produces the highest yields in the shortest period of time, but the market value is the lowest.

There are approximately 300 to 500 ginseng seeds per ounce.

*Growing instructions included with seed order.

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