As summerís heat gives way to a cooler fall, Ohioís outdoor enthusiasts prepare for a hunt quite different from any other - ginseng. Ginseng is a slow-growing perennial herb that is highly valued in the U.S. and worldwide for its alleged medicinal properties. The plant is native to Ohio and prefers mature woodlands. It grows frequently on slopes, where it favors rich soil and dense shade. Because of its value and significant harvest pressure, regulation on both harvest and export are necessary to ensure the survival of the species. Ohioís ginseng harvest season runs from Sept. 1 to Dec. 31 each year. Collection is prohibited on all ODNR property. Written permission is necessary to collect ginseng on private and public land. The export of American ginseng from Ohio is regulated under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, and all harvested ginseng must be certified by the ODNR Division of Wildlife prior to export to verify its weight and legal origin. Additional information about American ginseng and harvest regulations can be found in the publication Ohioís Green Gold.


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