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Wasowski, Sally and Andy
Panax quinquefolius L.
American ginseng, Wild Ginseng
USDA Symbol: paqu
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
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 CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Flower:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug
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. USDA Native Status: L48(N), CAN(N)
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)
From the National Suppliers Directory
According to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:
- 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
Recommended Species Lists
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View Recommended Species page
Record Modified: 2010-04-17
Research By: TWC Staff