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PLEASE help with these species of plant identification - growing ginseng  RSS feed

 
tony phamm
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Hi, Total newbie here and I'm reading a great book on growing some ginseng and in that book it says that if the understory plants are growing in the soil on that site, chances are ginseng will also do well since it's been known that these plants like the same conditions.

I need help from you guys to identify some plants on these photos to the list below. I think I do have some of these but I can't say for sure because some of the ferns for example have many different species that look the same and on the site, some of them are young and look different as they mature so it's hard for me to match up with a google search.

Anyways, here's the main list:
maidenhair fern (Adiantum pendatum);

yellow lady’s slipper (Cypripedium parviflorum var. pubescens);

baneberry (Actaea pachypoda), often called “doll’s eye”;

blue cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides);

Some of these companion plants are calcicoles (normally growing in calcareous soils) and need conditions nearly identical to ginseng. Maidenhair fern, yellow lady’s slipper, baneberry, and blue cohosh are calcicoles. Many others inhabit a broader range of conditions than does ginseng — mayapple, jewelweed, and foam flower will tolerate wetter conditions; while jack-in-the-pulpit, Christmas fern, Solomon’s seal, and false Solomon’s seal will also do well in drier locations; and bloodroot often favors flood plains. However, these species often grow where the wild ’sang grows, so their presence is certainly propitious. An abundance of especially large and vigorous specimens of ginseng’s companion species is particularly encouraging.

my pics of the understory plants on the site:
1) https://drive.google.com/open?id=1_pUQ4U32E-dkxmoIZs5sucGH9hx3JauiXw
2) https://drive.google.com/open?id=1_Db90P_DyKkb7orFRv-YuA343-BmSYSgNw
3) https://drive.google.com/open?id=1O5YY6soRgsMhtwj1VvLXGI6of8mLU0_yWQ
4) https://drive.google.com/open?id=1MhKByjtPsli5MKhD58sQ9JuOq35n0CS5_w
5) https://drive.google.com/open?id=136Z5-OUQVf-IKRBtmkJZeRbJlzXAvGtWXA
6) https://drive.google.com/open?id=17uA0R_TfRdLYhAOq50SA7fhFvTAzMkxS3w
7) https://drive.google.com/open?id=19hqlj6YXAlsLlQ4HJhpYbwxNTYAU-CzqJQ
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1L5EFxv3Pp30xba50vdaygI7M3FGO2Ldu1A
9) https://drive.google.com/open?id=1l0UwiNbNJ-Uv_MdybaeNytS_imxMjJIK5g
10) https://drive.google.com/open?id=1TRRRwZb6IXphBZzTdH8toTRJRavNErjbmw
11) https://drive.google.com/open?id=1DKDSCpMGiK8TTG3lgBGWhjjLdi_YL06KXA
12) https://drive.google.com/open?id=1C4w-TX7ih5DWuN3cBNNW2hqC5r6-qldCnA
13) https://drive.google.com/open?id=1oB6OOB_6EjDmcLZ8Vqiz3TwbwftroV21rw
14) https://drive.google.com/open?id=1aUZKec788InmZNtz6wTAyY5uQvOvZBM1_Q
15) https://drive.google.com/open?id=1kVia7Z24YcARB0WTkd0ych0F52A0EdEAYQ
16) https://drive.google.com/open?id=1vWr4rBCWd_UuCSD7_aGoV3gT9Ee8tRbmtA
17) https://drive.google.com/open?id=1nObG1KUXdK5SM3x80oucn8Q2tfxxJFB1MA
1 https://drive.google.com/open?id=1recibiTURgqlg45uJNLpkzw7LuLA7Ax5Vw
19) https://drive.google.com/open?id=16yL3NvqRhx7HcjABPd0FaF3mzu-JcYycpg

Also, if you can number them as you ID them, that would be awesome!

Here's the rest of the companion plants list:
rattlesnake fern (Botry-chium virginianum), sometimes referred to as “ginseng pointer”;
Christmas fern (Polystichum acrostichoides);
bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis);
black cohosh (Actaea racemosa);
wild ginger (Asarum canadense);
Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum biflorum);
false Solomon’s seal (Smilacina spp);
jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum);
trilliums (Trillium spp);
foam flower (Tiarella cordifolia);
jewelweed (Impatiens spp), also known as touch-me-not;
mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum);
goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis);
sweet cicely (Osmorhiza spp);
yellow mandarin (Prosartes lanuginosa);
Dutchman’s pipe (Aristolochia macrophylla);
bedstraw (Galium triflorum);
liverwort (Hepatica spp); or Canadian violet (Viola canadensis).


Also, the hardwood that's needed mostly is sugar maple and tulip poplar. I'm sure I have poplar but I can't distinguish the maple leaf from sugar or red maple or some other maple. Hope you can help me with that. Also, White ash or black walnut is also very good to have. Then the other OK hardwoods are beech, black cherry, red maple, basswood, hemlock, white pine.

The tree NOT good for ginseng is too much oak trees so I hope I don't have too many of those.

Here's the pics that I took of the leaves. I hope you guys can identify some or all of them. That would be super helpful! (some might be shrubs):
(this one is poplar right?)
1) https://drive.google.com/open?id=12KNpqQM9JYCm60KLiIN0JVVBM9yMwiZi3A

2) https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Bpyy5kwmBMK9j5j78R8C8O6lEt4VKabanA
3) https://drive.google.com/open?id=1KcB85IignNHrKXOWZT18e8ypZiLKM9t6Cg
4) https://drive.google.com/open?id=1GAM45xI3EVP0TdHD97UrRxK__XaZYPb0xg
5) https://drive.google.com/open?id=1pjFeQwFivKaJ-kpuEJ__FOmQ1BOzcWcjeQ
6) https://drive.google.com/open?id=159QxQwYzClr3cc9DRbhHa2q-0lAlcWl9DA
7) https://drive.google.com/open?id=1tLIRswLUGt1_wFwXc1FjtRQAkLI2L6dUgQ
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1KlWabSs875bSgl-HotR-l-nI-0FmmIGKvA
9) https://drive.google.com/open?id=1JEvZEfFyMy4ADiclbTeG-b69EfxgRhPeWA
10) https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Rge8yPJencCrZybflfs7JoxZ5OE0cwbuYg
11) https://drive.google.com/open?id=1HCAQd68po1cZNZI0cEbEGGeoxoYbfhvNGw
12) https://drive.google.com/open?id=1tfNQM-fvfKkipk6Wnbqw2ijUrwmEGGamSw
13) https://drive.google.com/open?id=1fthh57VShyk9K78GeGNxNJUwyFSZS-MbuQ
14) https://drive.google.com/open?id=15FnkrUcCR35ln_IGBJ0WdgyeWGRjFuF0HQ
15) https://drive.google.com/open?id=1isjdRHrwAblY05Ji6fUa8pEXFYHS9yL3ag
16) https://drive.google.com/open?id=1wrPLzuTr0s2uAGm6FqwUMl_til7ypuQx3Q
17) https://drive.google.com/open?id=1t7xGrp_CH9DBY-vB3D8wE4_8a2GZJO9g6g
1 https://drive.google.com/open?id=1076BgDJHudu7lL38HyvsBSYjjspZXZPzuw
19) https://drive.google.com/open?id=1UAllYnZ9U9GbY_P-3FuvAdEkgGAuoqyynA
20) https://drive.google.com/open?id=1N9VqcRyY05z-vUGatfOss8jHAQ20cbVnIw

Some of them are repeats. If you can also number them as you identify them, that would be helpful too. I'll look for that leaf on the site and see how many of that type of tree I have and determine the ratio. And thanks so much for helping out! You guys really are a great community.


 
Deb Stephens
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Location: SW Missouri, Zone 7a
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Tony,

Before I start identifying these (or anyone else does for that matter) it would be helpful if you could tell us where you are located--state, USDA zone, micro-climate and anything pertinent about your soil/climate conditions, aspect (north-facing, south-facing, etc.). The reason I mention this is that all the plants in your list (or at least all those I am familiar with) like moist, shady and generally NOT south-facing environments. Ginseng is in that category. It especially likes cool, very shady valleys near water at the bottom of east or north-facing slopes. However, it does not like to be wet, so good-drainage is essential. You should also know that it takes a LONG time before it is large enough to harvest too--especially if you want quality roots. You might need to do something else to put food on the table and pay the rent for about a decade. Seriously! And that is IF rodents and trespassers and Mother Nature don't take it first.

I've looked through a few of the plants that you show in the photos and most of what I've seen indicate a much drier woodland environment or even a semi-sunny location. I just glanced at them quickly though, so I will go back and look more closely and follow up on this. Just wanted to let you know that to do a good job on ID we need a bit more info to start.

Deb
 
Deb Stephens
Posts: 395
Location: SW Missouri, Zone 7a
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Tony, Do you live in southern Missouri or Northern Arkansas? Maybe it is another state, but your place is essentially dry woodland and you are not going to have the sort of landscape for ginseng. I have mostly seen a lot of Virginia creeper, black-eyed Susans, blackberry, mulberry, ash, tulip poplar, sassafras and oak (sorry about that). Also some commelina, ferns that mostly associate in dry woods, and various other herbaceous plants that are definitely not on your preferred list. Trilliums, Jack-in-the-pulpit, ladies slipper, bloodroot, Solomon's seal, etc. are generally found in moist woods. Your land is more like what we find on west and south-facing woodlands and in edge areas around glades. Sorry to break the bad tidings, but you probably need a different piece of land or a different crop. You might also want to take some courses in plant identification or general botany before you decide on another potential crop. There is a lot that goes into growing exotic plants like ginseng and it isn't really the sort of thing a newbie would be advised to take on. Have you considered harvesting and selling native seeds, for example?
 
Walt Chase
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Location: ALASKA
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Ginseng likes cool moist conditions.  It grows best on the north or east facing side of a hill, or mountain as they are usually the coolest and most shaded and many time damper parts of the topography.  It will grow in many different forest types, not just what you mentioned.  I've seen it growing in a 100% Eastern White Pine stand, mixed oak, maple, poplar forest etc.  It likes the shade, somewhere in the 70-80% range is best, although it will grow in less shade than that.  Creek bottoms and lower hillsides are good places.  I'm not repeating info I've gleaned off the net or out of a book.  I've spent a lot of time in the woods and spent many enjoyable hours in search of wild ginseng thanks to my Grand-dad.  Hope this helps.
 
Jarret Hynd
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I hope no one minds this botany noob(me) jumping in aswell.

Is this Red BaneBerry? (Actaea rubra) I'm quite certain it is from comparison pictures I've referenced. This picture was taken just above a valley which is always wet via a 10' wide winding stream. Most times though I find them right down in the valley under the shade of sugar maples and various other under-story trees, but this picture was an exception I found this summer.
 
Deb Rebel
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There is 'farming' of ginseng by raised beds with the right soil mix, watering, under serious shade and using blue-green plastic to give the right light mix but this is a lot of work and very expensive to do. And there will still be a five year minimum lead to getting the first crop if one is lucky, and no visits by rodents, deer, or two legged poachers. If as others are reporting, the land is too warm, dry (as indicated by the stuff growing there already) and with too much light, one might seriously reconsider trying to grow this crop and look into something else to grow instead.
 
tony phamm
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Deb Stephens wrote:Tony,

Before I start identifying these (or anyone else does for that matter) it would be helpful if you could tell us where you are located--state, USDA zone, micro-climate and anything pertinent about your soil/climate conditions, aspect (north-facing, south-facing, etc.). The reason I mention this is that all the plants in your list (or at least all those I am familiar with) like moist, shady and generally NOT south-facing environments. Ginseng is in that category. It especially likes cool, very shady valleys near water at the bottom of east or north-facing slopes. However, it does not like to be wet, so good-drainage is essential. You should also know that it takes a LONG time before it is large enough to harvest too--especially if you want quality roots. You might need to do something else to put food on the table and pay the rent for about a decade. Seriously! And that is IF rodents and trespassers and Mother Nature don't take it first.

I've looked through a few of the plants that you show in the photos and most of what I've seen indicate a much drier woodland environment or even a semi-sunny location. I just glanced at them quickly though, so I will go back and look more closely and follow up on this. Just wanted to let you know that to do a good job on ID we need a bit more info to start.

Deb


I'm in Tennessee, near McMinnville. USDA zone 7A. not sure about micro climate. The whole area is all wooded with some houses here and there. Rains often and rains hard at times too. Soil I'm going to get results in a few days. As for facing,  not sure yet but alot of it is very shallow slopes, some flat. I'll have to find a north-east facing slope. I've read the book and know what ginseng needs. I just need to ID these plants to make sure it's good to go.

You mention good drainage. Yes I understand this but how do I tell if the soil is good or not. I mean it seems it got clay but also some sand as well. Here's some of the soil pics/vids, not sure if it's clear:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=11QUQkqmRwWM_Qc4Q2HorC0z3EiVh6HTz9w
https://drive.google.com/open?id=11siIiYbsPaO3yypuWJJpmGEFDSxktuq50Q
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1lgSYZv909eeI7rYWIwmbHEoBX5fq9FQqwQ
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1wmyxCJopYPDIo1S6xPBNSztpEQ7DcXN2wQ
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1aYJ0CVEdfsWPZ7SHU602FspAql3-lqsedw

by the way, some of the vids I wanted to show that there are shallow small roots all over the top of the soil. About 1 inch of many fine roots all from saplings and such.

The other question I had was, so let's say the correct ferns grow in this exact spot. So does that mean I have to spread my ginseng seed in that EXACT location, uprooting and replacing the ferns? Or does it just mean the general area (12 acres) is ok to grow? Yes I do need to grow it in north-east facing slope which I'll try to find.

 
tony phamm
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Deb Rebel wrote:There is 'farming' of ginseng by raised beds with the right soil mix, watering, under serious shade and using blue-green plastic to give the right light mix but this is a lot of work and very expensive to do. And there will still be a five year minimum lead to getting the first crop if one is lucky, and no visits by rodents, deer, or two legged poachers. If as others are reporting, the land is too warm, dry (as indicated by the stuff growing there already) and with too much light, one might seriously reconsider trying to grow this crop and look into something else to grow instead.


Well some of the pics do show some areas where there aren't as many trees, but here's some other pics of the general area:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=13StwiBcVnWhDPGjNdjC8w-cQFOscxLQhrw
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1_133giMEagRqn8ao5WeIXCNw0IFptuFVtA
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1cIIHmLKws0OlG5oZFYmSincW7C589l_LkQ
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1R8rnyQG8vcouM29_DwFYXqO6eQdSbudZxA
https://drive.google.com/open?id=17iSHXolrhuoVnOGsnvL11MJ2Xm4ZvBVOaA
https://drive.google.com/open?id=18TdsSpcoQrngW4YbBMno0xQMbg4ETnifnQ
https://drive.google.com/open?id=169vj_kfzhbpCaEspOjUPcQ6AIfMoa5mgpg
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1nIoIuNSty0A9BIKjeB605UpbFVUli6QHaA
vids:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1zxQObfxOQokJpVtRdBqNO4ZlVzFA0FO8bQ
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1-eFwDKrTMjeoZBZMvffJTCW9Wq4GOKW8BQ
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1TpjXTVvxsJJKHA1GyUvyD3Mm-4TprRVcqg
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Aokxns4PrdbmGQQPR4VZ5TJHXqPEIV0oqA

some areas have alot of smaller trees and can't even be walked in. That area I won't be growing. Some areas have a big open area where too much sunlight can get into. I think I showed pics of that area, which I shouldn't have. I won't be planting there.

But alot of the areas where I do visually see about 75% shade, those areas don't really have alot of undergrowth. Is that spot OK to grow or do I need to actually find ferns and stinging nettle on that exact spot to plant my ginseng?

Here's more plants to consider from another experienced ginseng grower:
https://youtu.be/TkGnhqRAQRA?t=3m32s

Now again, the question I have is, do I need to grow ginseng in that exact spot where I see these other plants or are these companion plants just an indicator of the generally good soil and condition on the 12 acre site? And all I really need is to:
1) find a spot that's 75% cover, with as big hardwood trees around covering as possible (no small shrubs or too many immature hardwood trees)
2) northeast facing slope 10 to 25 degrees
3) a spot that's on top of mostly maple/poplar and not oak trees


 
tony phamm
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Deb Stephens wrote:Tony, Do you live in southern Missouri or Northern Arkansas? Maybe it is another state, but your place is essentially dry woodland and you are not going to have the sort of landscape for ginseng. I have mostly seen a lot of Virginia creeper, black-eyed Susans, blackberry, mulberry, ash, tulip poplar, sassafras and oak (sorry about that). Also some commelina, ferns that mostly associate in dry woods, and various other herbaceous plants that are definitely not on your preferred list. Trilliums, Jack-in-the-pulpit, ladies slipper, bloodroot, Solomon's seal, etc. are generally found in moist woods. Your land is more like what we find on west and south-facing woodlands and in edge areas around glades. Sorry to break the bad tidings, but you probably need a different piece of land or a different crop. You might also want to take some courses in plant identification or general botany before you decide on another potential crop. There is a lot that goes into growing exotic plants like ginseng and it isn't really the sort of thing a newbie would be advised to take on. Have you considered harvesting and selling native seeds, for example?


It's strange that these pics indicate that I'm in dryer woodland because I heard that around here it gets the most rain out of all of USA, more than Seattle which I heard is mostly cloudy and rainy over there. Here, when it rains, it pours, with t storms.

I found some plants on the list. It's not many but its the 2 main ones:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1vWr4rBCWd_UuCSD7_aGoV3gT9Ee8tRbmtA
https://drive.google.com/open?id=19hqlj6YXAlsLlQ4HJhpYbwxNTYAU-CzqJQ
mainenhair and rattlesnake fern (please correct me if I'm wrong)

and stinging nettle:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1DKDSCpMGiK8TTG3lgBGWhjjLdi_YL06KXA/view?usp=sharing
(I assume this is stinging nettle since the leaves look like this:
https://youtu.be/TkGnhqRAQRA?t=3m42s

 
Deb Stephens
Posts: 395
Location: SW Missouri, Zone 7a
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Hi Tony,

First, about climate and soil. Yes, Tennessee does get a lot of rain (and ginseng does grow around the state, as well). However, just because the state gets a lot of rain and even your place gets a lot of rain, it doesn't necessarily mean that the area where you want to grow will get enough rain. It may, but it would depend upon what sort of soil you have, which way the land faces and how steep the slope is where you want to plant. If you pour water in a bowl it sits there. If you pour it on a slide, it doesn't. The same thing goes for land--a stream bed, swale, pond or even just a low spot surrounded by higher spots may act like a bowl to retain water, whereas a slope will allow the water to drain off. By the same token, you can shape a bowl out of sand and pour water in it and instead of a pond, you will have a dry bowl and water all over everything else when it seeps rapidly through it. Soils with too much sand can be in the right place, get tons of rain and still not stay moist. Even soils which act like sponges to soak up lots of rain while still allowing it to slowly leak out (which would be perfect) can be dry if they are facing the sun. (Put a wet sponge out in the sun on a hot day and watch how fast it dries out!) So ... my point is that in nature, nothing exists in isolation--you need to look at all the factors that make up your land and judge what will or will not work based on how all those factors come together.

Second, it is smart to look for the proper plant communities as a way of "seeing" how those factors come together. If you find plants growing well under similar conditions that ginseng favors, that would definitely indicate that ginseng would grow there as well. The problem here seems to be that you are obviously not familiar enough with plants to do that accurately. Showing photos to us can be helpful in identification, but it would be better for you to learn them yourself. Only you are there, walking around and looking at all of it together as a whole. Only you can see the places where many of the favorable plants come together or places where only one or two, perhaps marginal plants or those better adapted to a wider range of conditions, seem to thrive. The presence of one plant does not make a community. The absence of a key species could make all the difference. For example, it is my understanding that the reason sugar maples are so important to ginseng culture is that maple leaves are high in calcium, a critically important nutrient for ginseng. The leaves are also easily decomposed, allowing the tiny shoots of newly sprouted ginseng seeds to work through several inches of them to reach sunlight. Not only are oak leaves extremely acid but they tend to pack tightly together and stop seedlings from emerging.

My advice, and I mean this kindly, is that before buying and scattering ginseng seeds willy-nilly, you take some time to become more educated about growing all sorts of things. Start a small vegetable garden, perhaps. Then ... Research not just ginseng, but plants and plant communities in general. Maybe you could take a couple of classes at a local community college (botany, soil science, etc.) OR contact your local extension service or soil & water conservation office and ask to have someone come out and walk your land with you and offer some helpful advice. It has been my experience, here in Missouri, that those agents are more than willing to set up an appointment to come out and look your land over (I think most of them secretly enjoy the opportunity to get out of the office )

Ginseng may sound like a treasure trove waiting to be exploited, but if you don't know what you are doing, you may merely spend a lot of time and money for nothing. Gain some experience first, then, by all means try ginseng (or mushrooms, kiwifruits or anything else that tickles your fancy.) Good luck!

Two more things I just remembered:
1 - Ferns are notoriously hard to ID (grasses, reeds and sedges are tough too) so don't go by a photo you saw on the internet. Take samples to someone who knows--a university or extension office--and have them take a look. Then you can really be sure what you have.

2 - From your photos, it looks like your soil is on the clay side. Probably not ideal for ginseng, but you could have it tested to make sure.
 
tony phamm
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I appreciate the recommendations and yes I will be doing a food forest here too to learn the basics of permaculture. But there are different types of people out there. I don't like to read and research too much about something before taking action. I like to read a little about it, take action and then see what comes of it. I like to learn from my mistakes which is for me the fastest way of learning. Also, when doing it myself, I learn a whole lot more like this way is better than that way that was explained by an expert. Generalities could only be made from a book which is why I like to execute what I've learned soon in practice. So I will go ahead and plant and see where it could grow. Sure I'll waste some of money and time and effort along the way had i researched more of it but i really like to learn from experience as well.

Anyways, so anyone else able to generalize these plants I have from my pics? I just need bare essentials for the starting point. I just need help IDing these for now. I'll become an expert later through my own experience. I'll be on this for years, especially if I see some results, even if they are random, so I'll have years to read a book about this or that but I've already read a good amount so I just wanna go out there and plant some stuff and learn from that, but for now, I just need some quick help on IDing these to get me started.

Again, the big question is, if I see these companion plants growing at that exact spot does that mean I should prepare land at that exact location, replacing the companion plants with ginseng planting, or does it just mean that the general location is good and that I should then find the most ideal spot for that property (northeast facing slope, at least 10-25 degrees slope, the right hardwood on top, bigger the better, 75% cover, etc.)
 
Judith Browning
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Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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I've got just a couple general suggestions to add to this discussion...

One, it might be wise to avoid telling anyone in your area of your intent.  I know that if it grows well in an area there are root diggers who will find it and fences won't prevent them harvesting.  Here locally there is a root buyer yearly who comes in and pays good money per pound for ginseng and golden seal and some other wild harvested roots. 

Years ago our friends invested in roots, planted them in the perfect spot and had them stolen from their property within two years...not even up to marketable size. 

Here at least, golden seal is much more prolific in certain areas.  I've had good luck growing some in a bed tucked up against the north side of our house in the past. 

wishing you luck...sounds like a great way to get to know your woods!
 
Deb Stephens
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tony phamm wrote:I appreciate the recommendations and yes I will be doing a food forest here too to learn the basics of permaculture. But there are different types of people out there. I don't like to read and research too much about something before taking action. I like to read a little about it, take action and then see what comes of it. I like to learn from my mistakes which is for me the fastest way of learning. Also, when doing it myself, I learn a whole lot more like this way is better than that way that was explained by an expert. Generalities could only be made from a book which is why I like to execute what I've learned soon in practice. So I will go ahead and plant and see where it could grow. Sure I'll waste some of money and time and effort along the way had i researched more of it but i really like to learn from experience as well.

Anyways, so anyone else able to generalize these plants I have from my pics? I just need bare essentials for the starting point. I just need help IDing these for now. I'll become an expert later through my own experience. I'll be on this for years, especially if I see some results, even if they are random, so I'll have years to read a book about this or that but I've already read a good amount so I just wanna go out there and plant some stuff and learn from that, but for now, I just need some quick help on IDing these to get me started.

Again, the big question is, if I see these companion plants growing at that exact spot does that mean I should prepare land at that exact location, replacing the companion plants with ginseng planting, or does it just mean that the general location is good and that I should then find the most ideal spot for that property (northeast facing slope, at least 10-25 degrees slope, the right hardwood on top, bigger the better, 75% cover, etc.)


Tony,
You wanted IDs so here you go ...

First batch:
1. Ferns are too difficult to ID from single photo but upper left flower is a black-eyed Susan (a Rudbeckia species)
2. Selection of sedges, grasses and mosses too difficult to ID from single photo (especially without closeups)
3. Again, most of this is too indistinct to ID from above without closeups/different angles, but blackberry (a Rhubus species) stands out in the middle of the shot, and a small poison ivy plant (used to be Rhus radicans, now Toxicodendron radicans)to the middle/left and again in the extreme right/bottom corner. Also, what looks like a sensitive plant (Mimosa pudica)--the lacy, ferny-looking plant directly above the blackberry. One plant looks like it could be a tradescantia species or possibly commelina, but it could just as easily be a broad-bladed grass. Can’t really tell from this photo.
4. Lower portion is sensitive plant again. Left and upper left is Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia). Nothing else distinct enough for ID.
5. Again … blackberry, sensitive plant, Virginia creeper and possibly what looks like a small grapevine just right of center at the top. Could be a young tree though. You also have greenbriar or catbriar (both are Smilax spp.) mixed with the sensitive vine in the lower part of the picture. I’m still not sure of the plant in upper left—it has similar characteristics to Solomon’s seal, but I don’t think it is (possibly a Tradescantia species, such as Tradescantia fluminensis?)
6. Lot of redundacy—more of the same stuff as before.
7. Again … can’t ID ferns, but tiny plant in upper middle is probably a young Sassafras tree (Sassafras albidum).
8. Nothing special in this shot—plant angled across center may be a legume (in the pea family) but not clearly identifiable.
9. More of the same …
10. More of the same …
11. More of the same …
12. More of the same …
13. More of the same …
14. More of the same …
15. More of the same … except that there may be a bit of cleavers (Galium aparine) in the bottom just below the black-eyed Susan
16. Grapevine next to fern at bottom right
17. Too blurry/far away to ID
18. Too blurry/far away to ID
19. Sassafras tree at bottom right

Second batch:

1. Tulip poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera)
2. Grape vine could be any one of the several native Vitis spp. in this area
3. a white oak species (Quercas alba)
4. Western red cedar (Juniperus virginiana)
5. Same as 4
6. ? Looks like a buckthorn, (Rhamnus spp.)but not sure. (Also that is more greenbriar on the right)
7. See 6
8. See 6
9. More white oak
10. Tulip poplar
11. Hickory species (Carya spp.)
12. Mulberry (Morus spp.)
13. hard to ID—need a less busy photo
14. a red oak species (Quercas rubra)
15. Again, too busy to see clearly for ID on bottom plant (I’m thinking buckthorn) but that is a maple way up at the top—can’t be sure at that distance, but probably sugar maple (Acer saccharum)from the shape of the leaves.
16. Hickory species
17. Another white oak species (Same genus, not the same species as the other)
18. Fringe tree (Chionanthus virginicus) I think.
19. Another oak
20. Another oak

I understand wanting to do things your own way, but every single species above indicates that your land is unsuitable for ginseng. Those are all species you would find on any dry woodland biome--my own property included (which is why I didn't even have to look any of them up to ID them). You can still plant the seeds, but I wouldn't be too disappointed if in ten years you still don't see any ginseng growing. Why not try to grow something more suited to the environment you have instead of trying to force something to grow where it obviously will NOT want to? Or, if you are hell-bent on growing ginseng, maybe you could sell your land and look for a property better suited to growing ginseng or do as Deb Rebel suggested and make raised beds and an artificial environment to grow it in. Just my two-cents worth, and you can take it or leave it, of course. Best of luck to you.
 
Jane Southall
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You could just try a small area or even a small raised bed, to begin with.  Southern exposure seed exchange will send you a small amount of two I think maybe three year roots for 15 bucks this fall.  I have oak, red maple and beech.  I simply going to spend  5 or 10 bucks on seeds from them.  I have a couple of spots with 75% shade.  Kinda loamy.  Feels like the best spots.  If it doesn't work out, I only spent a few bucks.  No big deal.  Start small.  Good luck to you.
 
Deb Rebel
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Jane Southall wrote:You could just try a small area or even a small raised bed, to begin with.  Southern exposure seed exchange will send you a small amount of two I think maybe three year roots for 15 bucks this fall.  I have oak, red maple and beech.  I simply going to spend  5 or 10 bucks on seeds from them.  I have a couple of spots with 75% shade.  Kinda loamy.  Feels like the best spots.  If it doesn't work out, I only spent a few bucks.  No big deal.  Start small.  Good luck to you.


If you buy seed, buy STRATIFIED seed or you will spend a year doing the prep on it.
 
Jane Southall
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They are stratified
 
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