American Ginseng

American Ginseng

(Panax quinquefolius)

Features

  • Long-lived, slow-growing perennial herb found in rich, moist, mature deciduous forest
  • One to four compound leaves, stalked from the petiole from the main stem, comprised of five egg-shaped, short-pointed leaflets (seedlings are a single trifoliate leaf)
  • Small green flowers comprised of 5 petals and 5 stamens
  • Elongated root is often forked and tapering, and is sought for use in traditional Chinese medicine

Status

Endangered Provincially and Nationally

Range

Extends from southwestern Quebec, eastern and central Ontario south through the northeastern and mid-western United States to Oklahoma, Alabama and Georgia.  Recorded at 65 sites in Ontario, but recent surveys suggest that one-quarter of these sites may have disappeared.

Threats

Significant population decreases have occurred over past 150 years because of harvesting, timber extraction, and clearing of land for agriculture and development. These threats persist today resulting in an estimated decline of at least 50% of the existing populations.  Hybridization with non-native Oriental Ginseng used in agriculture, and the introduction of disease from this introduced species, is also a threat to the native American Ginseng.

Protection:

  • CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) controls international trade of American Ginseng or its parts
  • Ontario’s Endangered Species Act protects against collection, being killed or harmed
  • Planning Act protects significant habitat of endangered species from development on public land in southern Ontario (about 50% of wild American Ginseng populations are on public land)

References:

Royal Ontario Museum: American Ginseng

Data and information released from Credit Valley Conservation (CVC) are provided on an 'AS IS' basis, without warranty of any kind, including without limitation the warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose and non-infringement.

Availability of this data and information does not constitute scientific publication. Data and/or information may contain errors or be incomplete. CVC and its employees make no representation or warranty, express or implied, including without limitation any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose or warranties as to the identity or ownership of data or information, the quality, accuracy or completeness of data or information, or that the use of such data or information will not infringe any patent, intellectual property or proprietary rights of any party. CVC shall not be liable for any claim for any loss, harm, illness or other damage or injury arising from access to or use of data or information, including without limitation any direct, indirect, incidental, exemplary, special or consequential damages, even if advised of the possibility of such damages.

In accordance with scientific standards, appropriate acknowledgment of CVC should be made in any publications or other disclosures concerning data or information made available by CVC.
DATA DISCLAIMER