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Dwarf Ginseng Panax trifolius


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Dwarf Ginseng
credit: Gary Kauffman, USDA Forest Service

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Family: Araliaceae, Ginseng view all from this family

Description Native perennial forb. Habit: erect, 4-8 inch height. Leaf: palmate, single whorl of 3 to 5 leaflets; attached directly to the plant stem. Flowers: spherical dull white umbel, fades to pink. Fruit: yellow, clustered berries in July to August. Rounded, edible roots.

Flower April to June.

Habitat Moist woods, damp clearings, bottomlands.

Range Northeastern U.S. and Canada, from Ontario east to Nova Scotia, south to Georgia and northwest to Kentucky, Indiana, and Minnesota. (Not reported in South Carolina.).

Discussion This plant looks like a small version of American ginseng (P. quinquefolius), but can be distinguished by its sessile leaflets (usually three) versus the five stalked leaflets of American ginseng. Also known as groundnut.