Ginseng Conservation Status

Ginseng was added to Appendix II of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) in 1975, due to concerns of the species being over-harvested as a consequence of international trade. Appendix II allows trade that is biologically sustainable and legal, and includes species that, although currently not threatened with extinction, may become so without trade controls.  In order for CITES-listed species to be exported from the U.S., the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) federal authorities must determine that the exports of wild American ginseng was legally harvested and will not be detrimental to the survival of the species.  Each year, the 19 states that regulate the harvest of ginseng, report the previous year’s total harvest by county.  The USFWS then uses these data, plus findings of scientific research, and other biological and trade information, to determine wheter the export will be detrimental on a state-to-state basis.

Overview of Ginseng Classification by State:

State NatureServe Classification under state law or regulation
Alabama S4:Apparently Secure None
Arkansas S4:Apparently Secure None
Connecticut S2: Imperiled Special Concern
Delaware S2: Imperiled Species of Conservation
District of Columbia SH: Possibly Extirpated Historical (possibly extirpated)
Georgia S3: Vulnerable Special Concern
Illinois S3: Vulnerable None
Indiana S3: Vulnerable None
Iowa S3: Vulnerable None
Kansas S1: Critically Imperiled None
Kentucky S3: Vulnerable/S4: Apparently Secure None
Louisiana S1: Critically Imperiled Rare
Maine S3: Vulnerable Endangered
Maryland S2: Imperiled/S3: Vulnerable Watch list
Massachusetts S3: Vulnerable Special Concern
Michigan S2: Imperiled/ S3: Vulnerable Threatened
Minnesota S3: Vulnerable Special Concern
Mississippi S3: Vulnerable Watch List
Missouri S4: Apparently Secure None
Nebraska S1: Critically Imperiled Threatened
New Hampshire S2: Imperiled Threatened
New Jersey S2: Imperiled Special Concern
New York S3: Vulnerable/S4: Apparently Secure Exploitable Vulnerable
North Carolina S3: Vulnerable/S4: Apparently Secure Species of Concern
Ohio Not Ranked None
Oklahoma S1: Critically Imperiled Watch List
Pennsylvania S4: Apparently Secure Vulnerable
Rhode Island S1: Critically Imperiled Endangered
South Carolina S4: Apparently Secure Rare
South Dakota S1: Critically Imperiled None
Tennessee S3: Vulnerable/S4: Apparently Secure Special Concern – Commercially Exploited
Vermont S3: Vulnerable Watch list
Virginia S3: Vulnerable/S4: Apparently Secure Watch List/Threatened
West Virginia S3: Vulnerable/S4: Apparently Secure None
Wisconsin S4: Apparently Secure None
Ontario, Canada S2: Imperiled —-
Quebec, Canada S2: Imperiled —-

Data provided by:

NatureServe. 2013. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Available (Accessed: February 10, 2014 ). *Ginseng’s status was last reviewed in 2005.

US Department of the Interior, FWS. General advice for the export of roots of wild and wild-simulated American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) legally harvested during the 2013 harvest season.