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.