Hi, just joined the forum. Been looking in to ginseng for the last few months since i read about it in an outdoor magazine. I live smack dab in the middle of the Ouachita Mountains in Arkansas. I know from the old timers that ginseng grows here but i have not found any yet. I have mostly looked on National Forest land. I know I cant dig it there but i would like to see where it growes. I have a few acres and access to more and am interested in growing wild simulated ginseng. If there is anyone in this area on the forum i would be thankful for any advice. Thanks.
P.S I havent even found gingseng yet and its all i can think about.
You are over there on the south western edge of the range.
Good Luck on finding some. Perhaps you could get some of those old timers to point you to some good locations.
Here where I live (Southern Middle TN), we have to look on North to North Eastern facing hillsides.
Looks like you are more south and west of me... so I expect you sure better look mostly on hillsides that face due north.
I would recommend looking around the bottom or bottom 1/4 of hill of steep rocky hillsides or blufs, river blufs, etc and in your case stick with hillsides that face due north, to perhaps just a little north-east - if good and steep.
Learn to identify the Maiden Hair Fern and where you find those, look real good for ginseng.
I have found ferns by the hundreds but no ginseng. Could elevation play a role this far south? I have been looking around a 1000 ft but can go higher but the higher ground down here is really poor only growing scruby pine and oaks. I know ginseng is somewhere here and im not giving up till i find it. Got a couple more locations in the back country to look but im running out of ideas. But on the up side on my last hike i found a cave and a nice vein of Quarts Crystals!
Where I live her in Middle TN... we don't have mountains... just hills and hollers.
In my County the highest elevation is around 1100... and low is in the 600 range.
It is very common for me to start looking down a hollow (from the head down) and up closer to the head of the hollow... when a creek does start there will be gravel bottom to creek... but then as you go on down the hollow, that will eventually turn to hard slick rock bottom.
Where it turns to slick rock bottom, you may go on down the hollow a little ways and there will be a drop in elevation and a water fall and then you start seeing rock above ground (rock outcroppings) and stuff like that.
That is when I usually start finding ginseng in a hollow real good, when you get to that point.
That usually happens below 750' elevation.
It is somewhat rare to find seng above 800' here in my county, but that does happen, mostly on hillsides that face due north, or up near the head of a side hollow on a hillside that faces near due north.
Now keep in mind we don't have mountains here and that probably changes the game a lot. I know Billy and others find seng at very high elevations in the mountains...
For me.. if a hollow does not go below 750-800' it is pretty much a waste of time looking.
Most of our larger creeks in the county are down in the 600-680' level and the creek bluffs along side them are places that I find some really good seng in. On those creek and river bluffs... usually around the bottom quarter to half of the bluff, where you have flats up on the bluff you can find some really good seng.
The roots below all came off of a creek bluff, at around 650' elevation.
I have seen hollows that were (I think) just a tad bit too high in elevation that had a lot of companion plants showing up. Just full of bainberry, cohosh, hog peanut vine and even some MHF... but no ginseng at all.
Then I go down the main hollow a bit and go up the next side hollow and boom ginseng shows up.
The only thing that (I could tell was different) was I was just a little lower in elevation, and on down the main hollow a bit more.
Are you finding MHF in these locations, or some other type of fern ?