Panax quinquefolius L.

American Ginseng

Family: Araliaceae

Genus: Panax

Category: Perennial

Zones: 4 to 8

Size: To 18" tall and wide

Exposure: Part Shade, Shade


Armitage at his best: There are only two reasons to grow Panax. One is that you have discovered how much money this crummy little plant is worth and you have decided to be a ginseng entrepreneur... The other is that you have discovered–once you went broke trying to sell ginseng–that the plant tolerates, even prefers, deep shade.

Compound leaves in whorls with 3 to 7 leaflets. Green-white fragrant flowers in spring to early summer followed by red fruit. Like moist soil.


Published in Sp. Pl. 2: 1058 in 1753. Reference is made to Catesby's Natural History, Appendix Plate 16.

Native to eastern Canada and eastern and central US.

Sources of Information

© 2010-12 Lisa J. Miner