Plant DetailShow Menu

American Ginseng Panax quinquefolius

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
PAN-aks kwin-kway-FOH-lee-us
Description

American ginseng is a native perennial found in the temperate nutrient-rich forests in North America. In NC it is found in the Piedmont and mountain areas. Due to its popularity as in herbal medicine, it has been overharvested in its natural habitat and is now strictly regulated in many states and by the federal government.

The flowers are non-showy umbrels and are followed by clusters of bright red berries. It prefers rich, fertile soils in a woodland setting in part shade to shade. It spreads slowly by seeds. It is best used in an herb garden, naturalized area or woodland setting.

No serious disease or insect problems.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#shade tolerant#native perennial#herb garden#endangered#NC native#red fruits#woodland#naturalized area#food source fall#food source soft-mast fruit#fall color yellow#bird friendly#audubon
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#shade tolerant#native perennial#herb garden#endangered#NC native#red fruits#woodland#naturalized area#food source fall#food source soft-mast fruit#fall color yellow#bird friendly#audubon
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Panax
    Species:
    quinquefolius
    Family:
    Araliaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Currently used in herbal medicine. Native Americans used it for various purposes.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Central and eastern North America
    Distribution:
    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
    Wildlife Value:
    Birds are attracted to the fruits.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 8 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 8 in. - 1 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    3/4 inch bright red berries in clusters with 2-3 white seeds. Displays from August to October.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Umbel
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Star
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    The umbel is 1/2 to 3/4 inches across with 10-20 tiny individual flowers that are 1/8 inch. Has a 5-toothed green calyx and 5 yellow-green petals. Blooms from May to June.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Whorled
    Leaf Shape:
    Obovate
    Ovate
    Palmasect
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    A whorl of three bright green compound leaves divided palmately into 3-6 serrated ovate to obovate leaflets. Tips taper to a point, bases are rounded. Stiff hairs are present on the marginal veins. 3-6 inches long and 1-2.5 inches wide.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    The single erect smooth stem is unbranched.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Edible Garden
    Native Garden
    Shade Garden
    Attracts:
    Songbirds