Panax quinquefolius L.
American Ginseng, Wild Ginseng
Araliaceae (Ginseng Family)
USDA Symbol: PAQU
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.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Fruit Type: Berry
Size Notes: Up to about 2 feet tall.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug
DistributionUSA: 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 ConditionsLight Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil Description: Organic, Humus Enriched
BenefitUse 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)
Find Seed or Plants
View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE
Web ReferenceWebref 26 - Minnesota Wildflowers: a field guide to the flora of Minnesota (2009)
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter
From the ArchiveWildflower Newsletter 1993 VOL. 10, NO.6 - Saving Trees and Plants at New Center Site a Big Job, Director's Report, Wildflo...
Wildflower Newsletter 1996 VOL. 13, NO.3 - Hummingbird Gardening, Blooms Beget Butterflies, Butterflies and Hummingbirds Fo...
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Panax quinquefolius in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Panax quinquefolius in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Panax quinquefolius
MetadataRecord Modified: 2023-05-29
Research By: TWC Staff