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Panax quinquefolius (American ginseng)

American ginseng roots, which can resemble the human body, are dried for use as a popular herbal medicine.
Leaves and berries of American ginseng

Leaves and fruits of Panax quinquefolius (Photo: Lin Yu-Lin)

Species information

Scientific name: 

Panax quinquefolius L.

Common name: 

American ginseng

Conservation status: 

Not yet assessed according to IUCN Red List criteria. Listed on CITES Appendix II.

Habitat: 

Eastern temperate forest.

Key Uses: 

Medicinal herb.

Known hazards: 

None known.

Taxonomy

Subclass: 
Superorder: 
Asteranae
Order: 
Apiales
Family: 
Araliaceae
Genus: Panax

About this species

Panax quinquefolius is indigenous to North America, and its roots have become a very popular herbal medicine, especially in China. As a result of its over-exploitation and the loss of its natural forest habitat, it is now rare in the wild, and material used commercially has to come from cultivated plants.

Synonym: 

Aralia quinquefolia, Ginseng quinquefolium

Genus: 
Panax

main info

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