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Thread: Finding ginseng

  1. #1

    Default Finding ginseng

    I need help I have been searching for ginseng but,can't seem to find it.I am hunting it on a 500 acre farm.I am going by pics from books,but I need some good tips on where to find it.Is it usually high on a hillside or lower. Does it grow near ferns or may apples. I know it is suppose to be on north or east facing slopes. How can I narrow down my search, it's pretty hot out there walking right now.Any help would be appreciated!....Thanks,Tina

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Southeast Minnesota
    Posts
    2,257

    Default Ginseng

    I find most of my ginseng on very big (and steep) hills. I would mainly concentrate on shaded areas. (Fern beds are a great place to start)
    For many reasons, the hills that haven't been logged in a while are best. Mainly, because they are easier to walk when it is hot and also because the plants don't get burnt off too soon by the sun. Staring from the basics, here are the things to look for as a beginner. This time of year most of the plants will be completely green. A good portion of the plants should have red berries on them as well. Ginseng is one of the only plants out there that has 3 branches coming off the main stem and each branch has 5 leaves on it. (Bigger plants can have an extra branch that will have 3-5 leaves on it). The thing that makes ginseng unique is that the 5 leaves on each branch come out of the same spot. If you are not having any luck on north or east facing hills right now it could be that the berries aren't red yet (which makes them harder to find because every plant out there is green). I would go over to a south facing hill and try there. If you don't have anyone to help you get started, you are better off just going out there and looking for red berries. I would take a few pictures of the plant with you and compare them to any plants that you find with red berries on. After you find one that you are sure is ginseng, I would keep the plant that you have and carry it with you to help find the next one. There are hundreds of tips that could be given, but unless you have someone to help you get started, that is about the easiest way to do it.
    Also, it is easier to spot ginseng (most of the time) when you are walking uphill. A lot of the plants get top heavy from the berries and they tend to lean downhill.

    Pics
    [ame="http://www.themidwesthunter.com/forum/showthread.php?t=566"]Ginseng Photos - TheMidwestHunter.com Forums[/ame]
    "A bad day of shed hunting is better than a great day at work"

  3. #3

    Default tips for beginner spotting ginseng

    When I first started spotting ginseng I used a sort of mental checklist that becomes second nature after a few finds:

    leaves serrated?
    five leaves connected at same point?
    the two leaves in the 5 leaf cluster closest to stem are significantly smaller (typically 1/3-1/2) than the other three leaves?
    three or four 5-leaf cluster "prongs" originating from same point on main stem?
    white very small flower cluster on separate "prong" (early in season)?
    red berries on separate "prong" (later in season)?
    Leaves also tend to turn yellow late in summer well before most other similar plants.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Middlesboro Ky:
    Posts
    2

    Default Very good advise

    Very good advise


    Quote Originally Posted by Swens View Post
    I find most of my ginseng on very big (and steep) hills. I would mainly concentrate on shaded areas. (Fern beds are a great place to start)
    For many reasons, the hills that haven't been logged in a while are best. Mainly, because they are easier to walk when it is hot and also because the plants don't get burnt off too soon by the sun. Staring from the basics, here are the things to look for as a beginner. This time of year most of the plants will be completely green. A good portion of the plants should have red berries on them as well. Ginseng is one of the only plants out there that has 3 branches coming off the main stem and each branch has 5 leaves on it. (Bigger plants can have an extra branch that will have 3-5 leaves on it). The thing that makes ginseng unique is that the 5 leaves on each branch come out of the same spot. If you are not having any luck on north or east facing hills right now it could be that the berries aren't red yet (which makes them harder to find because every plant out there is green). I would go over to a south facing hill and try there. If you don't have anyone to help you get started, you are better off just going out there and looking for red berries. I would take a few pictures of the plant with you and compare them to any plants that you find with red berries on. After you find one that you are sure is ginseng, I would keep the plant that you have and carry it with you to help find the next one. There are hundreds of tips that could be given, but unless you have someone to help you get started, that is about the easiest way to do it.
    Also, it is easier to spot ginseng (most of the time) when you are walking uphill. A lot of the plants get top heavy from the berries and they tend to lean downhill.

    Pics
    [ame="http://www.themidwesthunter.com/forum/showthread.php?t=566"]Ginseng Photos - TheMidwestHunter.com Forums[/ame]

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    west virginia
    Posts
    5

    Unhappy swens could you help me with some advice about ginseng

    I am in the idle spot but cant find any i go out every day help please:d

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Los Angeles, California
    Posts
    6

    Default

    You can try to Google it and search for similar photos that you've find in the books.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    benton harbor Mi
    Posts
    1

    Default michigan

    Hi,
    I am new to this, I am from SW michigan. I been looking for about a week not and I have not found any plants. I have two rivers here, with very steep and high banks, would that be a good place to look? Most have been woods for about 100 years.
    mi digger

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    West Central Indiana
    Posts
    33

    Default

    Deep, dark, wet ravines covered in "itch weed" I dont know about all states or areas but around here it will grow about anywhere. We find it up on the ridge tops but your bigger plants and roots will more than likely in the nastiest place you can find. I hope that helps. As dry as it is this year alot is already turning yellow so that helps a lot also as far as seeing it. Good luck
    Open Season TV Pro Staff
    www.openseasontv.com

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