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Native Plant Database

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Panax quinquefolius (American ginseng)
Wasowski, Sally and Andy

Panax quinquefolius

Panax quinquefolius L.

American ginseng, Wild Ginseng

Araliaceae (Ginseng Family)

Synonym(s):

USDA Symbol: PAQU

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

An umbel of small, greenish-white or yellow-green, fragrant flowers rising from a whorl of 3 large, palmately compound leaves. The flowers of this species smell like those of Lily-of-the-valley. It is classified as a threatened species in 31 eastern states. The genus name is from the Greek panakeia (“panacea” or “cure-all”). The common name, a corruption of the Chinese Jin-chen (“man-like”), refers to the resemblance of the roots to a human body.

 

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Flower:
Fruit: Red

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug

Distribution

USA: 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
Canada: ON , QC
Native Distribution: Ontario east to Quebec, south to Georgia, west to Louisiana and Oklahoma, and north to South Dakota and Minnesota.
Native Habitat: Cool moist woods.

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil Description: Organic, Humus Enriched

Benefit

Use Other: The root of this species is highly prized by the Chinese as an alleged aphrodisiac and heart stimulant. It is also in demand here as a tonic, which has resulted in overcollection, so that the plant is now considered rare. (Niering)
Attracts: Birds

Find Seed or Plants

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

From the National Suppliers Directory

According to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:

Enchanter's Garden - Hinton, WV

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:

Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE

From the Archive

Wildflower Newsletter1993 VOL. 10, NO.6 - Saving Trees and Plants at New Center Site a Big Job, Director's Report, Wildflo...
Wildflower Newsletter1996 VOL. 13, NO.3 - Hummingbird Gardening, Blooms Beget Butterflies, Butterflies and Hummingbirds Fo...

Additional resources

USDA: Find Panax quinquefolius in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Panax quinquefolius in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Panax quinquefolius

Metadata

Record Last Modified: 2010-04-17
Research By: TWC Staff

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