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The Difference Between Wild Simulated Ginseng with Cultivated Ginseng

Wild Simulated Ginseng

In the wild simulated technique, ginseng is grown in a forest environment to utilize the natural shade provided by the forest canopy. This method is done almost exclusively with seeds, which are planted deep in untilled soils to mimic the stressful soil conditions that produce the extremely valuable gnarled roots of truly wild ginseng. The land is not tilled and no fertilizers, no herbicides or fungicides are sued, our wild-simulated ginseng has nearly the same quality and value as wild harvested plants.

It can easily tell the difference between wild and cultivated roots. The wild roots are dark tan in color, gnarled in appearance and show many concentric growth rings. Wild roots are generally small in size and light in weight. The cultivated roots are cream colored, smooth and fat, and exhibit few concentric growth rings. Cultivated roots are cream colored, smooth often large and heavy with few concentric growth rings.

Numbers1-25 indicate annual growth bud

scale scars used to age plant

Very old wild ginseng with long concentric growth rings

Field Cultivated Ginseng

In the field cultivated technique, ginseng is grown under artificial shade provided by polypropylene

shade cloth or wooden lathe. Seeds are planted in four to six foot wide raised beds of cultivated fields. Rotations lengths of three to four years are typical and yield a high volume of lower quality roots that resemble carrots.

With recent prices for field cultivated ginseng on the global market, the cost of production is approaching expectable revenues and necessitates high density plantings with short crop rotations. Aggressive pest and pathogen management is essential with field cultivated. China now is the biggest production of field cultivated ginseng.

Field cultivated ginseng under artificial shade cloth with deep soil tillage and raised planting beds.

Photo by B. Beyfuss

Cultivated ginseng roots are cream colored, are often large exhibit few concentric growth rings

Cultivated ginseng roots are cream colored, are often large exhibit few concentric growth rings