Panax quinquefolius - L.
American Ginseng
Other Common Names: American ginseng
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Panax quinquefolius L. (TSN 29399)
French Common Names: ginseng à cinq folioles
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.130734
Element Code: PDARA09010
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Ginseng Family
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Apiales Araliaceae Panax
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Concept Reference
Concept Reference: Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
Concept Reference Code: B94KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Panax quinquefolius
Taxonomic Comments: This is a distinct North American species similar to several eastern Asian species in the genus. Another North American species of Aralia is a much smaller plant differing in several other ways as well. The name is spelled 'quinquefolium' in many botanical and other works, but the correct spelling under the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature is 'quinquefolius' (as used by Kartesz, 1999, and various other recent references).
Conservation Status

NatureServe Status

Global Status: G3G4
Global Status Last Reviewed: 03Jun2005
Global Status Last Changed: 20Mar2000
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: Panax quinquefolius (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. Some populations may be additionally stressed by deer browse. As for most forest understory plants, ginseng has declined due to substantial cutting and clearing of its original forest habitats, and continues to be threatened to some extent by inappropriate forest management. Although various regulations are in effect to protect P. quinquefolius (including CITES listing), populations continue to decline because of noncompliance with these regulations and insufficient enforcement. In 2006, the USFWS determined that certified wild ginseng must be 5 years of age or older for export. Several studies have determined the minimum viable population size and it appears there are few that meet these requirements so further study is needed to determine if larger populations exist.
Nation: United States
National Status: N3N4
Nation: Canada
National Status: N2N3 (13Nov2017)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alabama (S4), Arkansas (S4), Connecticut (S2), Delaware (S2), District of Columbia (SH), Georgia (S3), Illinois (S3?), Indiana (S3), Iowa (S3), Kansas (S1), Kentucky (S3S4), Louisiana (S1), Maine (S3), Maryland (S2S3), Massachusetts (S3), Michigan (S2S3), Minnesota (S3), Mississippi (S3), Missouri (S4), Nebraska (S1), New Hampshire (S2), New Jersey (S1), New York (S3S4), North Carolina (S3S4), Ohio (S4), Oklahoma (S1), Pennsylvania (S4), Rhode Island (S1), South Carolina (S4), South Dakota (S1), Tennessee (S3S4), Vermont (S3), Virginia (S3S4), West Virginia (S3S4), Wisconsin (S4)
Canada Ontario (S2), Quebec (S2)

Other Statuses

Canadian Species at Risk Act (SARA) Schedule 1/Annexe 1 Status: E (05Jun2003)
Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC): Endangered (01May2000)
Comments on COSEWIC: Reason for designation: In spite of restrictions on international trade, high rates of collection continue and there have been significant losses of populations over the last decade.

Status history: Designated Threatened in April 1988. Status re-examined and designated Endangered in April 1999. Status re-examined and confirmed in May 2000.

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Panax quinquefolius 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.

Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300
Number of Occurrences Comments: Widely distributed, with hundreds if not thousands of occurrences, primarily in the Appalachians and the Ozarks, but typically having very few plants per occurrence.

Population Size Comments: Panax quinquefolius occurs fairly frequently in the major portions of its range (Appalachia and the Ozark region), even though usually at low numbers per site, so global abundance is presumably many millions if not billions of individuals. Nevertheless, many experienced field botanists in Appalachia report that they seldom if ever notice previously unreported populations of this species. Extensive digging for ginseng roots has shifted the sizes of populations downward from hundreds to dozens of plants in many of the larger populations. Since Lyke (2000) estimates that exports (mostly of wild-collected plants) total 125,000,000 plants annually, the total wild population may exceed a billion individuals.

In a comprehensive survey on Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests, the average ginseng population included 50 individuals. The largest population was 1000 individuals over a distance of 40-50 acres. A two-year survey and field-validated modeling study in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the largest protected area for ginseng, estimated that 51,195 plants occur there. However, when the total area of suitable habitat was incorporated into the model, 212,559 plants were estimated to occur (Rock et al. 1999).

The minimum viable population size (MVP) for Canada is 172 plants compared to 510 MVP in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP). The difference is due to fecundity, dormancy, growth rate, and senescence rates. In West Virginia, the MVP is even larger at 800 plants due to deer browse. According to GSMNP, none of their populations reached the 510 MVP mark and only 2 reached the 172 MVP. (USFWS 2005).

Overall Threat Impact: Very high - high
Overall Threat Impact Comments: The greatest threat to Panax quinquefolius (American ginseng) is irresponsible digging of its wild roots for export. This plant is primarily used in China for medicinal purposes, where wild-grown plants command a substantial price premium over cultivated plants (White 2000).) Another threat is logging of mesic hardwood forests, since it requires rich soil in a moist, generally shaded setting. According to Anderson, ginseng is physiologically adapted to low light levels and can experience early leaf senescence or depressed growth with moderate high light levels (USFWS 2005) which can be an issue with increased forest fragmentation.

Commenting on Panax quinquefolius, Lyke (2000) reports that "about 125,000,000 plants were taken from the wild in the U.S. for export to Southeast Asia in 1996." Prices fluctuate, but are often a few hundred dollars per pound of wild roots, far more than for any other commonly collected native U.S. medicinal plant. This product has two completely different markets, wild and cultivated, and they are NOT mixed. Demand for wild ginseng is purportedly increasing. For example, in 2000, significantly more permits were issued on National Forest land in North Carolina, increasing from 400 last year to 600 this year (pers. comm. G. Kauffman, November 2000). Furthermore, the US Forest Service reported that collecting of wild ginseng roots is 300% higher than it has been in a three year period. However, most estimates of roots collected, especially when permits are issued, are consistently underestimated due to chronic poaching that occurs on both private and public lands and limited enforcement capacity. According to GADNR and G. Kauffmann (pers. comm., 2005), there seems to be a discrepancy between the amount harvested and amount permitted in places where NF lands are the primary lands that would contain ginseng within a county (USFWS 2005).

There is substantial quantitative evidence that significant poaching is occurring in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, which is the largest protected area for wild ginseng in the eastern US (Rock et al. 1999). For example, 10,151 roots were seized from illegal collections between 1991 and 2000. This figure accounts for 1-3% of total poaching, according to law enforcers in the park. Field surveys showed that a majority of ginseng plants were located in sub-suitable habitats, suggesting that poaching has caused a habitat-wide reduction of plants in target areas associated with ginseng populations (Rock et al. 2000). The collecting pressure on wild ginseng plants may be much higher in the Appalachians than in the Ozarks, where collecting amounts vary greatly by county (independent of abundance of the species) and ginseng plants on public trails in parks have been known to persist undisturbed for years.

New research suggests that this species might be an effective therapy to regulate blood sugars in diabetes patients (pers. comm. E. Fletcher, December 2000).

A study by McGraw and Furedi (2005) reports that at least in a portion of West Virginia deer browse is impacting populations. But, botanists from the Great Smoky Mountains, TN, KY, WI, NY, and MO did not consider deer browse to be a problem (pers. com. J. Rock, D. Lincicome, D. White, C. Anderson, T. Weldy, and T. Smith, June 2005). (Although it was noted that it is hard to tell if a deer browsed a plant if they take the whole thing.) In a MO study by Drees 2003 (in U.S. F&WS Convention Permit Application, 2003), there were also findings of deer browse causing a decline in mature plants producing fruit. In addition, deer were found not to be seed dispersers but predators since no intact seeds were found in deer fecal pellets (USFWS 2005).

In a study by Cruse-Sanders and Hamrick (2004), populations with a greater proportion of older plants and larger stage-class of individuals in protected populations had greater genetic diversity than within harvested populations (in U.S. F&WS Convention Permit Application, 2003). Removing the largest plants from a population may be subjecting the population to the Allee effect (Hackney and McGraw, 2001). Also, "research suggests that local ginseng populations [or ginseng] are highly adapted to local conditions and that artificial seeding with non-local seed may lead to local loss of fitness which could lead to the erosion fo the gene pool" (Grubbs and Case, 2004). Native ginseng populations are at risk of contamination from planted/cultivated seeds being brought in from elsewhere (USFWS 2005).

Short-term Trend: Decline of 10-30%
Short-term Trend Comments: Ginseng has declined considerably since European settlement in North America. It continues to decline, primarily due to extensive digging for the roots of the wild plant. The age structure of extant populations is also generally being skewed to young plants due to selective collecting of mature individuals, leaving only immature plants behind.

Harvests in Kentucky have declined 40% (from 26,000 to 16,679 lbs) in 1998 and 1999 and the 2000 harvest has been delayed by the US Forest Service in Daniel Boone National Forest to allow mature plants to reproduce there. A community modeling project for rich cove forests on the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests in North Carolina show a decline in ginseng populations with an estimated 33% extirpated in sampled plots (pers. comm. G. Kauffman). Age class sampling showed relatively small numbers of mature plants. Ginseng monitoring plots were established in 1979 and sampled through the early 1980s by the NCDA & Plant Conservation Program (pers. comm. G. Kauffman, November 2000). In 1999 plots were resurveyed showing that all except one decreased in number, density and size of plants. Another survey in 2000 showed similar trends, however there was a large increase in one of the populations. Overall, limited evidence suggests possible declining trends, although there is considerable variation in time (pers. com. G. Kauffman, November 2000). Similar results were shown in a similar large-scale study in Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

In North Carolina, there has been success in marking individual plants "with a benign material that contains magnetic coded marking chips and colorcoded fluorescent dye." There has also been a crack down on ginseng dealers. Following NC's efforts are "the Blue Ridge Parkway, Shenandoah, Mammoth Cave, Cumberland Gap and several Canadian provincial parks." In NC, one population has tripled in size since the crackdown. (NPCA 2005). Overharvesting and poaching threatens the sustainability of the species in Daniel Boone National Forest and Mammoth Cave (Maimon, 2005). In the Smoky Mountains, the populations are not healthy with fewer mature thus more young plants and did not know where to find populations exceeding their determined minimum population of 500 (pers. com. Rock, 2005).

Harvest pressure is greater in the southern states than in northern states (in U.S. F&WS Convention Permit Application, 2003).

In an effort to bring everyone together involved in the trade of ginseng, a workshop and public meeting were held in 2003 bringing together state and federal agencies, harvesters, and exporters to discuss ginseng and work together in order to continue to harvest the species. At the workshop, there was consensus that the harvest season started too early (germination of red fruit is nearly 3 times that of green fruit (USFWS, 2005)), more information was needed for harvesters (e.g. seed planting depth, limits, cultivated seed problems, etc.), and that the age requirement of 5 years or older may not be sufficient. Some states are changing the harvest start dates (such as W. VA. in 2005 (USFWS, 2005)) and other states, such as OH and NC, are requiring that seeds be planted within 100 ft. of harvested plant. (in U.S. F&WS Convention Permit Application, 2003). Legal harvesters appear to be abiding by the rules set in their area (pers. com. P.J. Harmon, T. Weldy, G. Kaufman, 2005).

Ozark-St. Francis and Ouachita NF in Arkansas placed a 5-yr moratorium in 2000 on the harvest; Jefferson NF 2004 Forest Plan limits the number of roots harvested (USFWS, 2005).

COSEWIC in 2005 lists this species as endangered.

Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: Recent experimental work suggests that individuals in small populations of ginseng may be extremely vulnerable to reduced fertility (Hackney and James 2001).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Global Range: Panax quinquefolius 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.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AL, AR, CT, DC, 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, VTnative and exotic, WI, WV
Canada ON, QC

Range Map
No map available.

U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
AL Bibb (01007)*, Jackson (01071), Lee (01081), Madison (01089), Morgan (01103)*, Winston (01133)*
CT Fairfield (09001)*, Hartford (09003), Litchfield (09005), Middlesex (09007), New Haven (09009), New London (09011)*, Tolland (09013)*, Windham (09015)
DE New Castle (10003)
GA Bartow (13015), Catoosa (13047), Chattahoochee (13053), Chattooga (13055), Clay (13061), Crawford (13079), Dade (13083), Dawson (13085), DeKalb (13089), Douglas (13097), Fannin (13111), Floyd (13115), Franklin (13119), Fulton (13121), Gilmer (13123), Gordon (13129), Greene (13133), Gwinnett (13135), Habersham (13137), Harris (13145), Houston (13153), Jasper (13159), Murray (13213), Muscogee (13215), Paulding (13223), Rabun (13241), Randolph (13243), Stephens (13257), Talbot (13263), Taylor (13269), Towns (13281), Union (13291), Walker (13295), White (13311), Whitfield (13313)
IA Allamakee (19005), Boone (19015)*, Buchanan (19019)*, Buena Vista (19021)*, Cherokee (19035)*, Chickasaw (19037)*, Clay (19041)*, Clayton (19043), Clinton (19045)*, Decatur (19053)*, Delaware (19055)*, Dickinson (19059)*, Dubuque (19061)*, Emmet (19063)*, Fayette (19065)*, Fremont (19071)*, Guthrie (19077)*, Hardin (19083)*, Henry (19087)*, Iowa (19095)*, Jackson (19097)*, Jefferson (19101)*, Johnson (19103)*, Jones (19105)*, Linn (19113), Louisa (19115)*, Madison (19121)*, Marion (19125)*, Muscatine (19139)*, O Brien (19141)*, Ringgold (19159)*, Washington (19183)*, Webster (19187)*, Winneshiek (19191)*
IN Allen (18003), Bartholomew (18005), Brown (18013), Clay (18021), Crawford (18025), Fountain (18045), Greene (18055), Huntington (18069), Jackson (18071), Jay (18075), Jefferson (18077), Jennings (18079), Johnson (18081), Lake (18089), Lawrence (18093), Marion (18097), Martin (18101), Monroe (18105), Montgomery (18107), Morgan (18109), Owen (18119), Parke (18121), Perry (18123), Porter (18127), Posey (18129), Pulaski (18131), Putnam (18133), Randolph (18135), Ripley (18137), Spencer (18147), St. Joseph (18141), Sullivan (18153), Union (18161), Vermillion (18165), Wabash (18169), Wayne (18177), Wells (18179)
KS Johnson (20091)
KY Lyon (21143)
LA Pointe Coupee (22077)*, West Feliciana (22125)
MA Berkshire (25003), Franklin (25011), Hampden (25013), Hampshire (25015), Middlesex (25017), Worcester (25027)
MD Allegany (24001), Garrett (24023)
ME Androscoggin (23001), Aroostook (23003), Franklin (23007)*, Kennebec (23011), Lincoln (23015)*, Oxford (23017), Penobscot (23019), Piscataquis (23021)*, Sagadahoc (23023)*, Somerset (23025), Waldo (23027)*, York (23031)
MI Alcona (26001), Allegan (26005), Antrim (26009), Barry (26015), Benzie (26019), Berrien (26021), Branch (26023), Calhoun (26025), Cass (26027), Clare (26035), Clinton (26037), Crawford (26039), Eaton (26045), Gogebic (26053), Hillsdale (26059), Ingham (26065)*, Iosco (26069), Jackson (26075), Kalamazoo (26077), Kalkaska (26079), Kent (26081)*, Leelanau (26089), Manistee (26101), Mason (26105), Monroe (26115), Montcalm (26117), Muskegon (26121), Oakland (26125), Ottawa (26139), St. Clair (26147)*, St. Joseph (26149)*, Tuscola (26157), Van Buren (26159), Washtenaw (26161), Wayne (26163), Wexford (26165)
MN Aitkin (27001), Anoka (27003), Becker (27005), Blue Earth (27013)*, Brown (27015), Carver (27019), Chisago (27025), Crow Wing (27035), Dakota (27037), Dodge (27039), Douglas (27041), Faribault (27043)*, Fillmore (27045), Goodhue (27049), Grant (27051), Hennepin (27053), Houston (27055), Isanti (27059), Jackson (27063), Kandiyohi (27067), Lac Qui Parle (27073)*, Le Sueur (27079), Lyon (27083), Mcleod (27085), Meeker (27093), Mille Lacs (27095)*, Morrison (27097), Mower (27099), Nicollet (27103), Olmsted (27109), Otter Tail (27111), Pine (27115), Pope (27121), Ramsey (27123)*, Renville (27129), Rice (27131), Scott (27139), Sherburne (27141)*, Sibley (27143), Stearns (27145), Todd (27153), Wabasha (27157), Washington (27163), Winona (27169), Wright (27171), Yellow Medicine (27173)
MS Attala (28007), Calhoun (28013), Carroll (28015), Chickasaw (28017), Choctaw (28019), Clay (28025), DeSoto (28033)*, Grenada (28043), Hinds (28049)*, Itawamba (28057), Kemper (28069), Lauderdale (28075), Marshall (28093), Monroe (28095), Montgomery (28097), Newton (28101)*, Noxubee (28103), Oktibbeha (28105), Panola (28107), Pontotoc (28115), Prentiss (28117), Rankin (28121), Smith (28129), Tallahatchie (28135), Tate (28137), Tippah (28139), Tishomingo (28141), Union (28145), Warren (28149), Wayne (28153), Webster (28155), Wilkinson (28157)*, Winston (28159), Yalobusha (28161), Yazoo (28163)
NC Madison (37115)*
NE Cass (31025)*, Dixon (31051), Douglas (31055), Otoe (31131)*, Richardson (31147), Sarpy (31153), Washington (31177)
NH Belknap (33001), Carroll (33003), Cheshire (33005), Coos (33007), Grafton (33009), Hillsborough (33011), Merrimack (33013), Rockingham (33015), Strafford (33017), Sullivan (33019)
NJ Hunterdon (34019), Mercer (34021), Morris (34027), Somerset (34035), Sussex (34037), Warren (34041)
OK Le Flore (40079)
PA Bucks (42017), Delaware (42045), Montgomery (42091), Northampton (42095), Snyder (42109), Wayne (42127)
RI Providence (44007)
SC Abbeville (45001), Aiken (45003), Anderson (45007)*, Edgefield (45037), Greenville (45045), Greenwood (45047), Lancaster (45057), Laurens (45059), McCormick (45065), Oconee (45073), Pickens (45077), York (45091)
SD Lincoln (46083)
TN Anderson (47001), Bledsoe (47007), Blount (47009)*, Campbell (47013), Cannon (47015), Carroll (47017)*, Carter (47019), Cheatham (47021), Claiborne (47025), Cocke (47029), Coffee (47031), Cumberland (47035), Davidson (47037), DeKalb (47041), Decatur (47039), Dickson (47043), Fentress (47049), Franklin (47051), Giles (47055), Grainger (47057), Greene (47059), Grundy (47061), Hamilton (47065), Hardin (47071), Hawkins (47073), Henderson (47077), Hickman (47081), Humphreys (47085), Jefferson (47089)*, Johnson (47091), Knox (47093), Lawrence (47099)*, Lewis (47101), Lincoln (47103), Loudon (47105), Macon (47111), Madison (47113), Marion (47115), Maury (47119), McNairy (47109)*, Monroe (47123), Montgomery (47125), Moore (47127), Morgan (47129), Obion (47131), Overton (47133), Pickett (47137), Polk (47139), Roane (47145), Rutherford (47149), Scott (47151)*, Sequatchie (47153), Sevier (47155)*, Shelby (47157), Smith (47159), Stewart (47161), Sullivan (47163), Sumner (47165), Tipton (47167), Unicoi (47171), Union (47173), Van Buren (47175), Warren (47177), Washington (47179)*, Wayne (47181), White (47185), Williamson (47187), Wilson (47189)
VT Addison (50001), Bennington (50003), Caledonia (50005), Chittenden (50007), Grand Isle (50013), Orange (50017), Orleans (50019), Rutland (50021), Washington (50023), Windham (50025), Windsor (50027)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
01 East Branch Penobscot (01020002)+, Mattawamkeag (01020003)+, Piscataquis (01020004)+*, Lower Penobscot (01020005)+, Lower Kennebec (01030003)+, Lower Androscoggin (01040002)+, St. George-Sheepscot (01050003)+*, Presumpscot (01060001)+, Saco (01060002)+, Piscataqua-Salmon Falls (01060003)+, Pemigewasset (01070001)+, Merrimack (01070002)+, Contoocook (01070003)+, Nashua (01070004)+, Merrimack (01070006)+, Upper Connecticut (01080101)+, Passumpsic (01080102)+*, Waits (01080103)+, Upper Connecticut-Mascoma (01080104)+, White (01080105)+, Black-Ottauquechee (01080106)+, West (01080107)+, Middle Connecticut (01080201)+, Miller (01080202)+, Deerfield (01080203)+, Chicopee (01080204)+, Lower Connecticut (01080205)+, Westfield (01080206)+, Farmington (01080207)+, Blackstone (01090003)+, Narragansett (01090004)+*, Quinebaug (01100001)+, Shetucket (01100002)+, Thames (01100003)+*, Quinnipiac (01100004)+, Housatonic (01100005)+, Saugatuck (01100006)+*
02 Hudson-Hoosic (02020003)+, Hackensack-Passaic (02030103)+, Raritan (02030105)+, Lackawaxen (02040103)+, Middle Delaware-Mongaup-Brodhead (02040104)+, Middle Delaware-Musconetcong (02040105)+, Lehigh (02040106)+, Lower Delaware (02040202)+, Schuylkill (02040203)+, Brandywine-Christina (02040205)+, Lower Susquehanna-Penns (02050301)+, North Branch Potomac (02070002)+
03 Lynches (03040202)+, Lower Catawba (03050103)+, Upper Broad (03050105)+, Enoree (03050108)+, Saluda (03050109)+, Seneca (03060101)+, Tugaloo (03060102)+, Upper Savannah (03060103)+, Broad (03060104)+, Middle Savannah (03060106)+, Stevens (03060107)+, Upper Oconee (03070101)+, Upper Ocmulgee (03070103)+, Lower Ocmulgee (03070104)+, Upper Chattahoochee (03130001)+, Middle Chattahoochee-Lake Harding (03130002)+, Middle Chattahoochee-Walter F. George Reservoir (03130003)+, Lower Chattahoochee (03130004)+, Upper Flint (03130005)+, Conasauga (03150101)+, Coosawattee (03150102)+, Oostanaula (03150103)+, Etowah (03150104)+, Upper Coosa (03150105)+, Cahaba (03150202)+*, Upper Tombigbee (03160101)+, Town (03160102)+, Tibbee (03160104)+, Noxubee (03160108)+, Sipsey Fork (03160110)+*, Sucarnoochee (03160202)+, Chunky-Okatibbee (03170001)+, Upper Chickasawhay (03170002)+, Upper Leaf (03170004)+, Middle Pearl-Strong (03180002)+
04 Ontonagon (04020102)+, Little Calumet-Galien (04040001)+, St. Joseph (04050001)+, Black-Macatawa (04050002)+, Kalamazoo (04050003)+, Upper Grand (04050004)+, Maple (04050005)+, Lower Grand (04050006)+, Thornapple (04050007)+, Pere Marquette-White (04060101)+, Muskegon (04060102)+, Manistee (04060103)+, Betsie-Platte (04060104)+, Boardman-Charlevoix (04060105)+, Lake Michigan (04060200)+, Lone Lake-Ocqueoc (04070003)+, Au Sable (04070007)+, Au Gres-Rifle (04080101)+, Pine (04080202)+*, Flint (04080204)+, Cass (04080205)+, St. Clair (04090001)+*, Clinton (04090003)+, Detroit (04090004)+*, Huron (04090005)+, Ottawa-Stony (04100001)+, Raisin (04100002)+, St. Joseph (04100003)+, Mettawee River (04150401)+, Otter Creek (04150402)+, Winooski River (04150403)+, Lamoille River (04150405)+, Lake Champlain (04150408)+, St. Francois River (04150500)+
05 Youghiogheny (05020006)+, Whitewater (05080003)+, Middle Ohio-Laughery (05090203)+, Barren (05110002)+, Upper Wabash (05120101)+, Salamonie (05120102)+, Mississinewa (05120103)+, Tippecanoe (05120106)+, Middle Wabash-Little Vermilion (05120108)+, Sugar (05120110)+, Middle Wabash-Busseron (05120111)+, Lower Wabash (05120113)+, Upper White (05120201)+, Lower White (05120202)+, Eel (05120203)+, Driftwood (05120204)+, Muscatatuck (05120207)+, Lower East Fork White (05120208)+, Upper Cumberland (05130101)+, South Fork Cumberland (05130104)+, Obey (05130105)+, Upper Cumberland-Cordell Hull (05130106)+, Collins (05130107)+, Caney (05130108)+, Lower Cumberland-Old Hickory Lake (05130201)+, Lower Cumberland-Sycamore (05130202)+, Stones (05130203)+, Harpeth (05130204)+, Lower Cumberland (05130205)+, Red (05130206)+, Silver-Little Kentucky (05140101)+, Blue-Sinking (05140104)+, Lower Ohio-Little Pigeon (05140201)+
06 South Fork Holston (06010102)+, Watauga (06010103)+, Holston (06010104)+, Upper French Broad (06010105)+, Pigeon (06010106)+*, Lower French Broad (06010107)+*, Nolichucky (06010108)+, Watts Bar Lake (06010201)+*, Lower Little Tennessee (06010204)+, Upper Clinch (06010205)+, Powell (06010206)+, Lower Clinch (06010207)+, Emory (06010208)+, Middle Tennessee-Chickamauga (06020001)+, Hiwassee (06020002)+, Ocoee (06020003)+, Sequatchie (06020004)+, Guntersville Lake (06030001)+, Wheeler Lake (06030002)+, Upper Elk (06030003)+, Lower Elk (06030004)+, Pickwick Lake (06030005)+, Bear (06030006)+, Lower Tennessee-Beech (06040001)+, Upper Duck (06040002)+, Lower Duck (06040003)+, Buffalo (06040004)+, Kentucky Lake (06040005)+
07 Elk-Nokasippi (07010104)+, Pine (07010105)+, Redeye (07010107)+, Long Prairie (07010108)+, Platte-Spunk (07010201)+, Sauk (07010202)+, Clearwater-Elk (07010203)+, Crow (07010204)+, South Fork Crow (07010205)+, Twin Cities (07010206)+, Rum (07010207)+, Pomme De Terre (07020002)+, Lac Qui Parle (07020003)+*, Hawk-Yellow Medicine (07020004)+, Chippewa (07020005)+, Redwood (07020006)+, Middle Minnesota (07020007)+, Cottonwood (07020008)+, Le Sueur (07020011)+*, Lower Minnesota (07020012)+, Upper St. Croix (07030001)+, Kettle (07030003)+, Lower St. Croix (07030005)+, Rush-Vermillion (07040001)+, Cannon (07040002)+, Buffalo-Whitewater (07040003)+, Zumbro (07040004)+, La Crosse-Pine (07040006)+, Root (07040008)+, Coon-Yellow (07060001)+, Upper Iowa (07060002)+*, Grant-Little Maquoketa (07060003)+, Turkey (07060004)+*, Apple-Plum (07060005)+*, Maquoketa (07060006)+*, Upper Wisconsin (07070001)+, Lower Wisconsin (07070005)+*, Copperas-Duck (07080101)+*, Upper Wapsipinicon (07080102)+*, Lower Wapsipinicon (07080103)+*, Skunk (07080107)+*, Upper Cedar (07080201)+, Middle Cedar (07080205)+, Lower Cedar (07080206)+, Upper Iowa (07080207)+*, Middle Iowa (07080208)+*, Lower Iowa (07080209)+*, Des Moines Headwaters (07100001)+, Upper Des Moines (07100002)+*, Middle Des Moines (07100004)+*, South Raccoon (07100007)+*, Lake Red Rock (07100008)+*, Kankakee (07120001)+
08 Lower Mississippi-Memphis (08010100)+, Obion (08010202)+, South Fork Forked Deer (08010205)+, Upper Hatchie (08010207)+, Lower Hatchie (08010208)+, Loosahatchie (08010209)+*, Little Tallahatchie (08030201)+, Tallahatchie (08030202)+*, Yocona (08030203)+*, Coldwater (08030204)+, Yalobusha (08030205)+, Upper Yazoo (08030206)+, Lower Yazoo (08030208)+, Lower Mississippi-Natchez (08060100)+*, Upper Big Black (08060201)+, Lower Big Black (08060202)+, Buffalo (08060206)+*, Lower Mississippi-Baton Rouge (08070100)+*, Bayou Sara-Thompson (08070201)+, Atchafalaya (08080101)+*
09 Buffalo (09020106)+
10 Lewis and Clark Lake (10170101)+, Lower Big Sioux (10170203)+, Little Sioux (10230003)+*, Maple (10230005)+*, Big Papillion-Mosquito (10230006)+, Keg-Weeping Water (10240001)+*, West Nishnabotna (10240002)+*, East Nishnabotna (10240003)+*, Nishnabotna (10240004)+*, Tarkio-Wolf (10240005)+, Upper Grand (10280101)+*, Thompson (10280102)+*, Lower Missouri-Crooked (10300101)+
11 Poteau (11110105)+, Kiamichi (11140105)+, Mountain Fork (11140108)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
Basic Description: American ginseng; (Araliaceae). An herbaceous, perennial plant with bright red fruits and palmate, serrated leaves.
General Description: Herbaceous perrenial with a whorl of 3, palmately compound leaves developing from a single, unbranched stem that arises from a fleshy, tuber-like root. Leaflets 5, oblong-obovate, 6-15 cm long, with a long petiolule (stem-like leaf stalk). The single umbellate inflorescences are composed of small greenish, perfect flowers. The fruit (1 cm) matures to red.
Diagnostic Characteristics: The leaves of P. quinquefolius are composed of 5, stalked leaflets that are unlike those of P. trifolia, which have 3, nearly sessile leaflets. Panax quinquefolius may also be confused with species of Aralia when no fruiting or flowering structures are present. The leaves of Aralia spp. are pinnately compound versus palmately compound in Panax (Rhoads and Block 2000).
Duration: PERENNIAL, Long-lived
Reproduction Comments: Seeds typically dispersed by gravity (Cruse-Sander and Hamrick 2004).
Palustrine Habitat(s): FORESTED WETLAND
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Forest - Hardwood, Forest - Mixed, Forest Edge, Forest/Woodland
Habitat Comments: Plants occur primarily in rich, cool, moist but not extremely wet woods, under a closed canopy. They occur especially on slopes or ravines (including wooded dunes in MI) and often over a limestone or marble parent material on soil with a good humus component. The forests where plants are found are typically hardwood-dominated or mixed. Plants occasionally occur in rocky woods, among swampy hardwoods, or at the edges of dense woods. Associated species include Sanguinaria canadensis (bloodroot), Cimicifuga racemosa (black cohosh), Adiantum pedatum (maidenhair fern), and Cypripedium pubescens (yellow lady's slipper).
Economic Attributes
Economically Important Genus: Y
Economic Uses: MEDICINE/DRUG
Production Method: Cultivated, Wild-harvested
Management Summary Not yet assessed
Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
Population/Occurrence Viability
U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 30Jun1995
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: K. Crowley, MRO (1995); rev. L. Morse 2000; rev. K. McConnell 2001; rev. T. Killeffer 2005.

Botanical data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs), The North Carolina Botanical Garden, and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

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