dwarf ginseng

(Panax trifolius)

Conservation Status
Xxxxxxxxxxx
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

N4N5 - Apparently Secure to Secure

SNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Dwarf ginseng is a small woodland spring wildflower. It occurs in the United States from Maine to Minnesota, south to New Jersey and Illinois, in adjacent Canadian provinces, and in the Appalachian region south to to Georgia. It is uncommon in east-central Minnesota, absent from the remainder of the state. It grows in shade or partial shade, in moist, well-drained soil, in rich deciduous woodlands and bottomland forests.

Dwarf ginseng is an erect, perennial forb that rises on a single stem from an underground, globe-shaped, thickened root (tuber). It can be 4 to 12 but is usually no more than 8 in height.

The stem is green to red, hairless, and unbranched.

There is a single whorl of three leaves. They are on ¾ to 2 long leaf stalks, and are held more or less parallel to the ground. They are divided into 3 to 5 leaflets that radiate from a single point (palmate). The species epithet trifolius means “three leaves”, and this refers to the compound leaves, not the leaflets. The larger leaves usually have 5 leaflets.

The leaflets are stalkless or nearly stalkless, lance-shaped to elliptic or inversely egg-shaped, and 19 16 to 3 (4 to 8 cm) long. The middle leaflet is the largest. When there are 5 leaflets, the lower lateral leaflets are the smallest. The leaflet blades are tapered at the base, widest beyond the middle, and usually broadly pointed at the tip. The upper surface is hairless. The margins are finely toothed.

The inflorescence is a single rounded, ½ to ¾ in diameter, umbrella-shaped cluster (umbel) of flowers rising on a ¾ to 3 (2 to 8 cm) long stalk (peduncle) above the whorl of leaves. The umbel has either all male flowers or all flowers with both male and female parts (perfect flowers). The stalks of each individual flower are white.

Each flower is about wide. There are 5 sepals, 5 petals, and 5 stamens. The sepals are white and are fused into a short tube (calyx). The calyx may have 5 minute teeth or appear toothless. The petals are oblong elliptic and widely spreading or somewhat bent backwards. They are white when fresh and turning pale pink as they age. The stamens have white stalks (filaments) and white anthers. They extend well above the petals. Perfect flowers have 3 long fertile styles that are separated, not fused, for their entire length. Male flowers have 1 short style that is not functional.

The fruit is 3 16 (5 mm) thick, yellow, berry-like, and fleshy (drupe) with 2 or 3 stones.

 
     
 

Height

 
 

4 to 12

 
     
 

Flower Color

 
 

White to pale pink

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
 

 

 
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Moist. Rich deciduous woodlands, bottomland forests. Shade or partial shade. Well-drained soil.

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Flowering

 
 

May to June

 
     
 
Use
 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 28, 29, 30.

 
  11/20/2019      
         
 

Nativity

 
 

Native

 
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Uncommon

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (flowering plants)  
  Superorder Asteranae  
 

Order

Apiales (Carrots, Ivies, and Allies)  
 

Family

Araliaceae (ginseng)  
  Subfamily Aralioideae  
  Tribe Aralieae  
 

Genus

Panax (ginseng)  
  Subgenus Trifolius  
       
 

Subordinate Taxa

 
 

 

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

 

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

dwarf ginseng

groundnut

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Calyx

The group of outer floral leaves (sepals) below the petals, occasionally forming a tube.

 

Compound leaf

A leaf that is divided into leaflets, each leaflet having the general appearance of a leaf, with all leaflets attached to a single leaf stem.

 

Filament

On plants: The thread-like stalk of a stamen which supports the anther. On Lepidoptera: One of a pair of long, thin, fleshy extensions extending from the thorax, and sometimes also from the abdomen, of a caterpillar.

 

Palmate

Similar to a hand. Having more than three lobes or leaflets that radiate from a single point at the base of the leaf.

 

Tuber

An underground root (as with dahlias) or stem (as with potatoes), thickened by the accumulation of reserved food (usually starch), which serves for food storage and vegetative propagation.

 

Umbel

A flat-topped or convex, umbrella-shaped cluster of flowers or buds arising from more or less a single point.

 

Whorl

A ring-like arrangement of similar parts arising from a common point.

       
Visitor Photos
   

Share your photo of this plant.

This button not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Attach one or more photos and, if you like, a caption.

       
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
   

Plant

  dwarf ginseng    
       

Inflorescence

  dwarf ginseng   dwarf ginseng
       

Flowers

  dwarf ginseng    
       

Leaf

  dwarf ginseng    
       

 

Camera

     
Slideshows
   
     
     
     
     
     

 

slideshow

       
Visitor Videos
       

Share your video of this plant.

This button not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Attach one or more videos or YouTube links and, if you like, a caption.

       
Other Videos
 
  Edible & Medicinal Dwarf Ginseng ( Panax trifolius )
Prepare2Survive
 
   
 
About

Apr 19, 2012

Dwarf Ginseng: A little known wild adaptogen https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-lADScTtmA

   
       
  Dwarf Ginseng (Panax trifolius) video
wvoutdoorman
 
   
 
About

Apr 7, 2012

Dwarf Ginseng (Panax trifolius) in bloom and I show the root of this unique plant

   
       
  Capital Naturalist: Dwarf Ginseng
Capital Naturalist
 
   
 
About

Apr 11, 2016

Dwarf Ginseng (Panax trifolius) is a spring blooming woodland wildflower that is not very common to find. It is not used however in the same way as its larger Ginseng cousin.

   
       
  Dwarf Ginseng and real Ginseng meds
Mike Reed Outdoors
 
   
 
About

Jun 5, 2018

This video is about Dwarf Ginseng and real Ginseng meds

   
       

 

Camcorder

         
Visitor Sightings
   

Report a sighting of this plant.

This button not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Be sure to include a location.

     
     
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings
   

 

 

Binoculars


Created: 11/20/2019

Last Updated:

About Us | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | © 2021 MinnesotaSeasons.com. All rights reserved.