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Ginseng Through the Seasons

On this page I’ll chronicle the life of ginseng through the seasons, from unfurling in spring to die-back in fall. The most recent photos are first, so if you’re interested in how ginseng looks in a season other than the current one you’ll have to scroll down.

American Ginseng through the Seasons at Wild Ozark

What does ginseng look like in late fall? (Scroll down to see it through all the seasons)

Nov 6, 2015

This is the 4-prong pictured in most of the photos below (not the one in October):

Only three prongs left and falling apart, this is how ginseng looks in November in the Ozarks.
Only three prongs left (it was a four prong) and falling apart, this is how ginseng looks in November in the Ozarks.
A closer view of the curled and dead leaves on the ginseng in November.
A closer view of the curled and dead leaves on the ginseng in November.

Oct 5, 2015

The ginseng is finally beginning to yellow. Some have died completely back already and some are still green. I am posting my drawing and nature sketch along with the photo in the hopes of enticing you to visit my nature sketch journal , where I am still adding drawings 😉

015- ginseng in october

What ginseng looks like in October
What ginseng looks like in October

Sept 1, 2015

The ginseng is looking pretty ragged now. Some are bug-eaten, most of the berries have dropped and you can see the leaves here and there are beginning to yellow. I have some pics of the ginseng plants growing under the cedar trees at this post, taken on Sept. 1.

ginseng on Sept 1
(ginseng on Sept 1) This is the same plant as the previous photos. One of the prongs are missing and the berries are all gone. Only the flower/berry stalk remains. Some of the other plants in another location still have a few ripe berries clinging.

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More than 70 color photos of ginseng and the companion plants throughout the growing season.

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What does ginseng look like in summer?

July 17, 2015

Berries are starting to turn red on the ginseng. This year we’ve had a tremendous amount of rain and so there’s a lot of mold/mildew on the seed stalks. Some of the seeds are falling off green or the berries are decaying before they ripen. Not only does the humidity cause the problem, but with all the extra rain the undergrowth is just choking out the air flow beneath the trees.

Ginseng with red berries
Ginseng with red berries

June 27, 2015

American ginseng in late June still has green berries. This is one of the few survivors in the area where it lives in my woodland nursery area. The fierce flash flood on the 15th washed away most of everything else. But it sure cleaned out a lot of the clutter and underbrush while it was at it!

Ginseng in late June
Ginseng in late June

June 12, 2015

The berries are filling out. Looks like this year saw great pollination.

4-prong ginseng with berries in June
4-prong ginseng with berries in June
Looks like the flowers got good pollination this year. Lots of filled out berries on this ginseng!
Looks like the flowers got good pollination this year. Lots of filled out berries on this ginseng!

What do ginseng flowers look like?

May 30, 2015

The ginseng flowers are opening a few at a time and it even has a berry or three now.

Ginseng with Flowers and berry
Closer view of the flower cluster and berry.
4-prong Ginseng with Flowers and berry
4-prong Ginseng with Flowers and berry

May 18, 2015

Just posted pictures of how ginseng looks right now. Some flowers are beginning to open, but many are still in tight buds.

May 15, 2015

I just posted a bunch of pictures from a ginseng habitat to the blog (no ginseng, though). I’ll try to get a current photo of the ginseng plant shown in last month’s post. It looks close to the same, except some of the flowers are beginning to open.

April 29, 2015

The ginseng is fully unfurled and flower buds are still closed. Goldenseal is finished flowering and has small green fruit globes. Bloodroot seedpods are still closed. Wild ginger bloom is faded and old. PawPaw trees are just now beginning to put on leaves.

ginseng through the seasons, a 4-prong ginseng end of april with flower buds
4-prong ginseng at the end of April with flower buds. 20 days after unfurling.


April 14, 2015

Blue cohosh, goldenseal are blooming. Solomon’s seal is growing taller with tightly closed flower buds dangling underneath starting to arch forms. The ginseng flower stem and buds are still tight as well, but I didn’t get a good picture of that today. I’ll try to take one soon and post it.

What does ginseng look like when it first comes up in spring?

April 9, 2015

update: went out again this afternoon and saw that yes, it certainly is ginseng. Here’s a couple more pics (two different plants):

3 prong ginseng unfurling
3 prong ginseng unfurling
ginseng through the seasons- unfurling in spring
ginseng unfurling

Went out this morning to see if I could find any ginseng unfurling. Found one, possibly, but will be more certain tomorrow. Here are the other plants of the ginseng habitat this morning.

March 27 2015

Seeds left over from fall planting are still in the refrigerator. As soon as I get the next chance when the weather cooperates, I’ll plant them. They’re beginning to sprout.

ginseng seeds sprouting in spring
Ginseng seeds sprout in April.

The seeds are very fragile at this stage. If you break off the little root, it will not grow into a plant and will die. This year the seeds I have didn’t do the usual “smiling” stage, where the seeds swell before the rootlet emerges. They just went straight to sprouting. Many are not yet sprouting and I’m wondering if they might wait until next year to do so. I checked to see if they float, but all of them sunk and this indicates live seeds. So if not this spring, then perhaps next year they will emerge as yearling plants.

Share your links if you have pics of your seeds sprouting. That’s probably easiest to do at our FB page. I’ll try embedding this post below and if it works, you can click on it to comment and share…

Well, it didn’t work the way i’d hoped. You can’t see the actual post, but if you click on the date below, it’ll bring you to it over at FaceBook:

Posted by Wild Ozark on Friday, March 27, 2015

March 30, 2015 Bloodroot Blooming

I’m a few days, possibly a whole week late in reporting this, but bloodroot is blooming now. So are the dutchman’s breeches. Pink and white trout lilies were also blooming the other day. Not yet for the yellow trout lilies. Cutleaf toothwort has been blooming a week or so now, too.

ginseng through the seasons line drawing
Line drawing from the USDA, NRCS. 2015. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 5 July 2015). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.

Visit my Amazon page to see all of my books about ginseng and nature: Madison Woods Amazon Author’s Page

Visit my fiction blog if you like fantasy with a heavy dose of Ozarks or nature: http://ruralfantasy.com

For nature sketching and fantasy art, visit my online journal: http://www.wildozarknaturejournal.com

7 thoughts on “Ginseng Through the Seasons”

  1. Pingback: New Wild Ozark Pages About Ginseng

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  5. Pingback: Ginseng in November and a Witch Hazel, too

  6. I’m hoping to find ginseng in close by woods but i might be to late if the berries hve fallen off I’m new at this and never seen ginseng plant in the wild so without berries is very hard to find maybe have to wait tell next yr if cant edentify the ginseng plant i live in west central mn ginseng has ben found in my area but very spars but people don’t look ether they don’t know it grows here in mn

    1. Hi Eugen it’s very hard for beginners to identify even with berries. If you want to email me pictures you’re welcome to do so. Just be a good steward and if you only have a few plants don’t dig them. Replant berries where you find them and just harvest leaves if you’ve only got a few. They’re equally beneficial.

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