West Virginia’s 2017 ginseng season opened earlier this week on September 1, and continues through Thursday, Nov. 30.
The perennial herb grows slowly with seeds that take two years to germinate. By law, only ginseng plants with three or more prongs are old enough to harvest. Ginseng diggers must replant the seeds from the parent plant in the spot where they harvested it to help continue the species.
Poaching is illegal and threatens the survival of wild ginseng. Digging for ginseng is not permitted on State Forests, State Parks, or other state-owned public lands. Ginseng hunters must have written permission to dig the plants from private property.
Diggers have until March 31 to sell to a registered West Virginia ginseng dealer or have roots weight-receipted at one of the West Virginia Division of Forestry weigh stations. A weight receipt is a record of the ginseng dug during the current year and the individual who wants to hold it over to the next digging/buying season.
Ginseng grows throughout the state and can be found in all 55 counties.
For more information on state and federal laws regulating the harvesting and selling of ginseng, call the West Virginia Division of Forestry at 304-558-2788 or visit www.wvforestry.com