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Panax quinquefolius

American ginseng add to wishlist

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Panax quinquefolius (American ginseng)
  • Panax quinquefolius (American ginseng)
  • Panax quinquefolius (American ginseng)
  • Panax quinquefolius (American ginseng)

Panax quinquefolius

American ginseng, wild ginseng, ginseng

Plant types and subtypes:
Perennials

Light Requirements: part-shade, shade

Water Use: medium

Soil Moisture: moist

Soil Description: acid, rich

Height: 9"-18"

Bloom Time: June, July

Bloom Color: white

Leaf Color: green

Hardiness Zone: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Native Range: AL, AR, CT, DE, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, VA, VT, WI, WV

Additional Tags: berries, fall interest, fragrant plant, fragrant root, medicinal, rare, shade garden plant, showy fruit, woodland garden plant

Panax quinquefolius

American ginseng, wild ginseng, ginseng

Description

American ginseng is an erect growing plant. Its compound leaves are made up of 5 serrated, oblong leaflets (quinquefolius means 5 leaves). Each plant produces a single, small, greenish to yellowish flower cluster atop an erect stem, reaching up to 18" tall. The blooms, though somewhat insignificant, exude a fragrance reminiscent to that of lily of the valley. Flowers give way to clusters of bright red berries in fall. Panax quinquefolius has been widely collected for its aromatic and medicinal roots.

Cultivation

Though not commonly grown due to its limited visual interest, American ginseng can certainly be considered a conversation piece. It is well suited for the moist, organically rich environment of a woodland garden. It should not be allowed to dry out in summer, yet an overly wet environment can lead to root rot. This is a low maintenance plant that blooms in late spring or early summer: June, July. Zones 4-8

Propagation

Best propagated by root division of mature plants. Collect roots in late summer after the plant begins to die back. Collected roots should not be stored, but rather planted immediately in well prepared soil, about 1" below the surface. May also be propagated from seed, though seedlings will be slow to mature.

Additional Notes

Panax is derived from the Greek word for panacea or cure-all. Ginseng is derived from Chinese words meaning man-like, which describes the appearance of the roots. Ginseng has a long history in herbal medicine, with a wide range of uses, from aphrodisiac to heart stimulant. This has led to its over collection and increased rarity in the wild. It is considered endangered in all parts of its native range and should NOT be collected in the wild.

Panax quinquefolius

American ginseng

Recorded County Distribution: USDA data

Native Range:
AL, AR, CT, DE, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, VA, VT, WI, WV

USDA Endangered Status:

  • Endangered: ME, RI
  • Exploitably Vulnerable: NY
  • Special Concern: CT, MA, TN
  • Threatened: MI, NH
  • Vulnerable: PA

Panax quinquefolius

American ginseng

Scientific Synonyms

Panax quinquefolium

Common Synonyms

wild ginseng, ginseng

Classification

Kingdom Plantae Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida Dicotyledons
Subclass Rosidae
Order Apiales
Family Araliaceae Ginseng family
Genus Panax ginseng
Species Panax quinquefolius American ginseng

Panax quinquefolius

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Some plants might not be available to you due to quarantine restrictions, or nursery limitations.

To make it easier for you to buy locally, we will sort the available nurseries based on their distance to your garden.