Unlimited harvests have made ginseng decline or disappear in many places. The ginseng trade is regulated internationally and under the Missouri Wildlife Code, with an official collecting season (usually Sept. 1 through Dec. 31, when fruits are on the plants). Diggers can help by squeezing the seeds from fruits into the hole left after the root is excavated.
Long valued as a medicinal plant, ginseng is an annual crop in the United States and Canada valued in excess of $25 million, but overzealous collection is causing serious concern about the survival of American ginseng in the forest ecosystem.
MDC protects and manages Missouri's fish, forest, and wildlife resources.
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