Panax quinquefolius
Ginseng

Photo by Susan R. Crispin 

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Key Characteristics

Perennial forb of rich woods; leaves palmately compound with five leaflets; flowers greenish-white, borne in a cluster on a tall, erect stalk; fruit a red berry; plant seriously threatened by illegal collection of the root.

Status and Rank

  • State Status: T - Threatened (legally protected)
  • State Rank: S2S3 - Rank is uncertain, ranging from imperiled to vulnerable
  • Global Rank: G3G4 - Rank is uncertain, ranging from vulnerable to apparently secure

Occurrences

County NameNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Alcona12000
Allegan72007
Antrim31998
Barry62012
Benzie32012
Berrien122011
Branch21985
Calhoun12007
Cass102010
Clare11982
Clinton12013
Crawford11996
Eaton12001
Gogebic42001
Hillsdale21991
Ingham31978
Iosco11995
Jackson21979
Kalamazoo82008
Kalkaska12012
Kent11896
Leelanau62010
Manistee22012
Mason11985
Monroe21998
Montcalm11970
Muskegon12010
Oakland22001
Ottawa52010
St. Clair11900
St. Joseph11967
Tuscola41979
Van Buren62006
Washtenaw92012
Wayne12003
Wexford22010
Map Distribution Alcona Alger Allegan Alpena Antrim Arenac Baraga Barry Bay Benzie Berrien Branch Calhoun Cass Charlevoix Cheboygan Chippewa Clare Clinton Crawford Delta Dickinson Eaton Emmet Genesee Gladwin Gogebic Grand_Traverse Gratiot Hillsdale Houghton Huron Ingham Ionia Iosco Iron Isabella Jackson Kalamazoo Kalkaska Kent Keweenaw Lake Lapeer Leelanau Lenawee Livingston Luce Mackinac Macomb Manistee Marquette Mason Mecosta Menominee Midland Missaukee Monroe Montcalm Montmorency Muskegon Oakland Oceana Ogemaw Ontonagon Osceola Oscoda Otsego Ottawa Presque_Isle Roscommon Saginaw St__Clair St__Joseph Sanilac Schoolcraft Shiawassee Tuscola Van_Buren Washtenaw Wayne Wexford

Updated 4/16/2014. Information is summarized from MNFI's database of rare species and community occurrences. Data may not reflect true distribution since much of the state has not been thoroughly surveyed.

Habitat

Ginseng is found in rich shaded forests with loamy soils and heavy canopies. This species is highly threatened from collection of the root, commonly used in herbal remedies. Large colonies have completely vanished due to illegal poaching.

Natural Community Types

Associated Plants

Sugar maple, Eastern hemlock, beech, yellow birch, basswood, white pine, red oak, white cedar, white birch, ironwood, American elm, balsam fir, white baneberry, red baneberry, wild leek, wild sarsaparilla, jack-in-the-pulpit, blue cohosh, enchanter's nightshade, bunchberry, blue-bead lily, Canada mayflower, Solomon's seal, false spikenard, twisted stalk, bellwort, star flower, nodding trillium, common trillium, maiden hair fern, lady fern, rattlesnake fern, spinulose woodfern, stiff clubmoss, shining clubmoss, ground pine, striped maple, leatherwood, fly honeysuckle, and maple-leaf viburnum.

Management

Preserve intact forests, avoid clear cutting, and reduce or eliminate poaching. Minimize development and fragmentation. When possible, leave large tracts of unharvested forests and allow natural processes to operate unhindered.

General Survey Guidelines

Random meander search covers areas that appear likely to have rare taxa, based on habitat and the judgment of the investigator.

Survey Methods

Page Citation

Michigan Natural Features Inventory. 2007. Rare Species Explorer (Web Application). Available online at http://mnfi.anr.msu.edu/explorer [Accessed Aug 1, 2014]

More Information

See MNFI Species Abstract

References

Survey References

Technical References