Ginseng, commonly used for herbal remedies, grows wild in most of Indiana. The Purdue Department of Forestry is trying to grow the plant in what’s called a “simulated wild grow.”
However, Purdue Extension Forester Lenny Farlee says ginseng has been over-harvested in the past, so the department aims to add to the ginseng supply and help cultivate native growing.
“Our interest in ginseng kind of arises from the whole area of forest farming and agro-forestry,” Farlee says. “So, it’s the idea of combining forest management with some sort of crop that might be planted either underneath the forest or with the trees.”
Farlee says the department is looking now at the seed germination of the ginseng plants. Later, he says there will be more evaluations about how ginseng responds to soil conditions of tree plantations.
Indiana has a ginseng harvesting season, which started September first, and it’s a low-level crime to pick the plant out of season or before the ginseng is mature.