Saturday, September 11, 2010

Wild Ginseng In The Fall (red seed berries)

Remember when I found some ginseng earlier in the summer? I have found more spots of ginseng since then, especially now that the seed cluster has turned bright red and is easy to spot in the green & brown woods. I won't reveal the locations where I found them (they are all different anyway) - cause in our area people will come and steal your ginseng to sell for a high price! Silly theives, don't they know we all have ole' shotguns out here in the woods. :)
Also, I have had several local old men already ask me if I knew where some was (does this qualify me even more for the neighborhood witch?)
The ginseng leaves are no longer dark green at this time of year, but are turning yellow-ish now and the stems are weaker. The berries are ready when they are loose and easily fall off if you lightly shake the plant - those berries are not for eating, but for planting. They contain the seeds to grow more ginseng plants.
I plan on spreading these seeds around to help grow more of this rare and over-hunted native plant. Then maybe one day I can dig up a root and not feel bad about taking what little is left in the forest.
the following pictures below are native plants that also contain red berries that could be mistaken for the ginseng plant, when hunting for it in the fall. It is REALLY important not to get edible plants in the woods confused, to avoid getting sick/poisoning/ or death. Be certain you know what you are looking for by having a clear picture of leaf shapes, roots, berries, ect...!
Not Ginseng! (can anyone ID these other red berry producing plants?)


Anonymous said...

Thanks for your photos... I just found a ginseng plant in my woods too and wanted to make sure what it was. All of the photos online were darker green and didnt have the lobed leaves but mine looks the closest to yours.... enjoy and good hunting.

Heidi said...

the first pic is false salomon seal...its edible. the second pic is jack in the pulpit... stay away

safemeds said...

Ginseng...? Hum, I guess I'm lost in the conversation XDXDXD I looked for it on wikipedia and there are several "alternative ginsengs", some of them really hard to recognize... With that articles and your post I feel ignorance is stepping back! LOL Thanks man, really appreciate learning new stuff this way.

Anonymous said...

Good sharing. Ginseng is used in traditional and herbal medicine to improve energy levels and concentration. Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer is one of the most well-studied species of ginseng with more than 70 published papers citing its various health promoting benefits. Read more at:

Tim Rose said...

Also be wherry of Supplements that boast Ginseng as an ingredient. Supplements can be anything and not necessarily healthy for you. Best to whip up your own supplement so to be sure its the real thing.most people sell it,But sometimes its better to actually try it!