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Panax trifolius

Panax trifolius L.

 

Dwarf Ginseng

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassAsteridaeA large class that encompasses asters
OrderApialesIncludes carrots, celery, parsley, and ivy
FamilyAraliaceaeIvy family
GenusPanaxGinseng—means “panacea” for its curative properties
SpeciestrifoliusLatin for “three leaves”

About plant names...

Dwarf ginseng is native to Northeastern North America.

Identification: Plants are 4-8" (10-20 cm) in height, easily missed among forest litter when not in bloom. Leaves are in clusters of three, with a larger central leaflet; leaflets are toothed. Blooms are spherical in shape, composed of many minute white or pinkish flowers about ¹/₁₆" (2 mm) around, all emerging from a central point. Blooms appear in May-June. Up close, the blooms are delicate and quite beautiful. Yellowish berry clusters succeed the flowers in July and August. American ginseng looks somewhat similar, but it is larger, and has clusters of five stalked leaflets instead of three leaflets in dwarf ginseng.

Medical: Dwarf ginseng root is not used in herbal medicine. See American ginseng.

Online References:

Panax trifolius on Southeastern Flora, the Southeastern U.S. Plant Identification Resource

Panax trifolius at the U.S. Forest Service Celebrating Wildflowers site

Panax trifolius at the University of Wisconsin's Robert W. Freckmann Herbarium

Panax trifolius at the North Carolina Native Plant Society

Panax trifolius at Illinois Wildflowers

Panax trifolius on the Connecticut Botanical Society's Connecticut wildflowers site

Panax trifolius on CalPhotos

Panax trifolius on Plants for a Future, a resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants

Panax trifolius on Delaware Wildflowers

Panax trifolius (Dwarf Ginseng)

5/14/2013 · Beaver Brook Assn Conservation Lands, Rte. 130, Hollis, NH
≈ 11 × 7" (26 × 17 cm)

Panax trifolius (Dwarf Ginseng)

5/10/2016 · Old Long Loop, Beaver Brook Conservation Area, Hollis, NH

Panax trifolius (Dwarf Ginseng)

5/20/2014 · Beaver Brook Assn Conservation Lands, Rte. 130, Hollis, NH
≈ 9 × 6" (23 × 15 cm)

Panax trifolius (Dwarf Ginseng)

5/14/2013 · Beaver Brook Assn Conservation Lands, Rte. 130, Hollis, NH
≈ 6 × 7" (15 × 18 cm)

Panax trifolius (Dwarf Ginseng)

5/4/2012 · Willard Brook State Park, Blue Trail, Ashby, MA
≈ 9 × 6" (22 × 14 cm)

Panax trifolius description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 14 May 2016.

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Panax trifolius (Dwarf Ginseng)

5/5/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Pepperell, MA
≈ 4½ × 3½" (11 × 9.3 cm)

Panax trifolius (Dwarf Ginseng)

4/27/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Pepperell, MA
≈ 5 × 4½" (12 × 11 cm)

Panax trifolius (Dwarf Ginseng)

5/10/2016 · Old Long Loop, Beaver Brook Conservation Area, Hollis, NH

Panax trifolius (Dwarf Ginseng)

5/4/2012 · Willard Brook State Park, Blue Trail, Ashby, MA
≈ 5 × 3½" (13 × 9.8 cm)

Panax trifolius (Dwarf Ginseng)

5/2/2013 · Beaver Brook Assn Conservation Lands, Rte. 130, Hollis, NH
≈ 6 × 6" (14 × 14 cm)

Panax trifolius (Dwarf Ginseng)

5/20/2014 · Beaver Brook Assn Conservation Lands, Rte. 130, Hollis, NH
≈ 6 × 4½" (14 × 11 cm)

Panax trifolius (Dwarf Ginseng)

5/4/2012 · Willard Brook State Park, Blue Trail, Ashby, MA
≈ 1½ × 1½" (4.1 × 3.7 cm)

Range:

About this map...