American Ginseng Plant
Easyliving Native Perennial Wildflowers
Native wild Flower Plants & Seed for Home Landscaping & Prairie Restoration
|Habitat||Bloom Period||Flower Color||Height Inches||Moisture||Plant Spacing||Lifespan|
|Medium to heavy Shade||June-July||yellowish-green
|9 to 18 inches||Average to Moist||12 to 18 Inches||Perennial|
& mature plant Pictures
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Plant Panax quinquefolius,
American ginseng with other native woodland wildflowers like
Columbine Green Dragon
American Spikenard Jack-in-the-pulpit
Goat's Beard Wild Ginger
Wild Geranium Virginia Bluebells
Woodland Phlox Jacob's Ladder
Bloodroot Celandine Poppy
Woodland Spiderwort Purple Trillium
White Trillium Blue
Cohosh Black Cohosh
Shooting Star Christmas
Fern Dutchman's Breeches
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Panax quinquefolius, American ginseng, Sang, is found in rich woods from Quebec to Minnesota and South Dakota to Georgia and occurs in Louisiana and Oklahoma. It grows in full shade underneath deciduous hardwood species. Plant Ginseng in full shade under deciduous trees in well-drained soil and keep moist. Wild American ginseng is typically found in calcium rich forest soils well supplied with organic matter. In natural conditions, the seed may take two or three years to germinate and the plant three to four years to produce seed. The root takes at least three to four years before it is ready to harvest
Best grown in moist, fertile, organically rich, medium wet soils in part shade to full shade. Soils should not be allowed to dry out. DO NOT DIG PLANTS FROM THE WILD. This species is endangered. An interesting and increasingly rare native plant for shade areas. Best in herb gardens, native plant gardens, woodland gardens or shade gardens. Generally not grown in borders due to lack of sufficient ornamental interest.
American Ginseng primarily inhabits rich, mesic woods, often on slopes, over a limestone or marble parent material. The species requires adequate moisture (but not wet hollows or swamps) and a closed canopy. Common associate herbaceous species include bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis), black cohosh (Cimicifuga spp.), maidenhair fern (Adiantum pedatum), and yellow lady's slipper (Cypripedium pubescens) American ginseng occurs from Maine, west to Ontario and perhaps Manitoba, and south to Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, and Kansas. It is most characteristic of the Appalachian and Ozark regions. American ginseng occurs at generally low densities over a very broad range, with a modern total population of perhaps a billion plants. However, population sizes of this plant have decreased considerably since European settlement, primarily because of extensive digging of its roots for commercial sale (NatureServe 2003). In Louisiana, ginseng is only known from the Tunica Hills Region at Tunica Hills Wildlife Management Area located north of St. Francisville, Louisiana.
Panax quinquefolius American Ginseng seed germination is improved after a pretreatment of several weeks cold moist stratification or when planted outside in the fall.
Native Panax quinquefolius American ginseng is a hardy native wildflower occurring naturally in open woods, ledges and rocky wooded slopes throughout the Ozarks. Pink Family (Caryophyllaceae)
Panax quinquefolius American ginseng, Is a very interesting plant for the spring shade garden. This woodland wildflower grows wild on moist rocky wooded slopes, in valleys and along Ozarks streams across most of the Midwest and Eastern US. Plant Panax quinquefolius American ginseng in average to moist rich soil in medium to heavy shade in Midwestern and Eastern US. This is a very unusal wildflower for the shade garden and will grow over most of the Midwestern and Eastern United States. An interesting and increasingly rare native plant for shade areas. Best in herb gardens, native plant gardens, woodland gardens or shade gardens. Generally not grown in borders due to lack of sufficient ornamental interest.
Threatened and Endangered Plant Information:
Connecticut: - American ginseng Special Concern
Maine: - American ginseng Endangered
Massachusetts: - ginseng Special Concern
Michigan: - ginseng Threatened
New Hampshire: - ginseng Threatened
New York: - ginseng Exploitably Vulnerable
North Carolina: - ginseng Special Concern
Pennsylvania: - ginseng Vulnerable
Rhode Island: - American ginseng Endangered
Tennessee: - American ginseng Special Concern, Commercially Exploited
The map below shows areas where native Panax quinquefolius American ginseng wildflower plants grow wild, it grows wild over most of the Midwest and Eastern US. Plant in USDA plant hardiness zones 3 to 9. Family Araliaceae – Ginseng family
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Native Panax quinquefolius
American ginsengt plant distribution map
complements of USDA, NRCS. 2001. The PLANTS Database, Version 3.1
(http://plants.usda.gov). National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.
wild ginseng, sang
Ethnobotanic: American ginseng was used by Menominee hunters, who chewed the root to impart a lure to the breath and to attract deer. The plant was used by Meskwaki women to obtain a husband. A mixture consisted of ground ginseng, mica, gelatin, and snake meat. The Pawnee also used ginseng roots in combination with certain other substances as a love charm. The Ojibwe considered the root a good-luck charm if carried in the pocket. Huron Smith (1932) recorded a potentially sustainable way to harvest the roots among the Ojibwe. “They only gathered the root when the red berries were mature, but before they were ready to drop. Into the hole from whence the root came, they would thrust the whole fruiting top, and carefully firm the soil upon it. Knowing the location well, they would revisit the place in three to five years and find more roots than they harvested in the first instance.” The roots were used in eyewash by the Iroquois to treat the sore eyes of two-year-old children. The root could also be steeped in warm water and drunk for alleviating sores on the body. The pulverized root was smoked to treat asthma. Women of the Penobscot tribe took an infusion of the root to increase fertility. The Delaware used the roots and other plant parts as a general tonic. American ginseng is in high demand in the United States and China as an herbal remedy. It is used for stress and to increase energy and mental acuity in the United States. In China, it is a panacea for sexual impotency, nervousness, vomiting, and dyspepsia.
In general, this species has been depleted by over-collecting for commercial purposes. Many states, such as Maryland, have a permit process instituted for collectors in the wild. Certain U.S. ports have been designated by the USDA, APHIS as ports through which ginseng can be exported. The Canadian Museum of Nature (2000) considers it a species at risk. Please consult the PLANTS web site and your State Department of Natural Resources for this plant’s current status.
General: Ginseng Family (Araliaceae). This aromatic herbaceous perennial has once palmately compound leaves arranged in a single whorl. The leaves are oblong-obovate to obovate, 6-15 cm, and conspicuously serrate. The stems are solitary, 2-6 dm, and with one flower umbel per stem. The flowers are greenish-white, all or mostly perfect. There are two styles and five stamens. The fruits are berry-like, bright red drupes, 1 cm thick.
For current distribution, please consult the Plant Profile page for this species on the PLANTS Web site. This plant is now considered rare and collection in the wild is either prohibited or strictly regulated in the states in which it is found. Most regulations
from Voss (1985)
allow digging only in autumn, after ginseng seeds have dropped. It is found in rich woods from Quebec to Minnesota and South Dakota to Georgia and occurs in Louisiana and Oklahoma. It grows in full shade underneath deciduous hardwood species.
Ginseng is widely cultivated in the U.S., Canada, and China. In natural conditions, the seed may take two or three years to germinate and the plant three to four years to produce seed. The root takes at least three to four years before it is ready to harvest (Sadler 1999). Detailed growing instructions are available from Michigan State University Extension (1996).
Propagation by seeds: Fruits should be collected when they are red, usually August or September. Seeds can be separated from the pulp and sown fresh in the fall in flats. If stored, they should be stored moist. If buying seed, soak it in a 10 percent bleach solution for 20 minutes and rinse before sowing to kill any fungus spores that may have come along with them. After a 3-fingered leaf emerges in the spring, transplant each of these in bunches of 3 to deep pots. They will be ready to plant outside the following fall. Plant the plants in full shade under deciduous trees in a well-drained soil and keep them moist. Wild American ginseng is typically found in calcium rich forest soils well supplied with organic matter.
If American ginseng has been planted in an acid soil, apply dolomite every fall to heighten the plant’s vigor and color. Hand weed around the plants.
Cultivars, Improved and Selected Materials (and area of origin)
This species is generally available from those nurseries that specialize in herbs. Contact your local Natural Resources Conservation Service (formerly Soil Conservation Service) office for more information. Look in the phone book under ”United States Government.” The Natural Resources Conservation Service will be listed under the subheading “Department of Agriculture.”
Beyfuss, R.L. 1999. American ginseng production in woodlots. Agroforestry Notes 14. USDA, Forest Service and USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service. USDA, National Agroforestry Center, East Campus-UNL, Lincoln, Nebraska.
Bourne, J. 2000. On the trail of the ‘sang poachers. Audubon 102:2(84-91).