Mystery plant 015

This plant is prized for its medicinal benefits and can be found throughout the midwestern and eastern woodlands of North America.  When you can identify this plant, please leave a comment with its common name, scientific name and any personal story you care to share.


Newly sprouting shoot


New leaves unfolding


Flowering and fruiting


Mature plant in mid-summer


Ripe fruits


Mature plants in late summer


Fall leaf color


ANSWER (subsequently added to this post to facilitate the “search” function for these images):  American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius)

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4 Responses to Mystery plant 015

  1. Tammy Johnson Mayer says:

    Hello, This wonderful & distinctive plant found on the rich, shaded forest floor is Panax quinquefolius, or American Ginseng. It is now endangered in Ontario, Canada, where I live because of illegal harvesting & deforestation. Disease can also be transmitted by non-native Oriental Ginseng which may have been planted nearby. It closely resembles the native vine, Virginia Creeper, which grows in the same habitat. One way to distinguish the two is that mature V. Creeper plants are connected by vine runners near, or on the surface of the soil. I keep hoping to someday see some American Ginseng in the wild! Thanks, Tammy

  2. Pingback: Virginia creeper and ginseng | Identify that Plant

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