Ginseng Dead-Heading: Determining the Effects of Removing Seed-Producing Flowers from Woods-Grown Ginseng

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer
Funds awarded in 1999: $2,363.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2001
Region: Northeast
State: Maryland
Project Leader:


  • Additional Plants: ginseng


  • Crop Production: agroforestry
  • Education and Training: on-farm/ranch research, participatory research
  • Farm Business Management: new enterprise development, budgets/cost and returns, feasibility study
  • Natural Resources/Environment: biodiversity, habitat enhancement
  • Production Systems: general crop production
  • Sustainable Communities: new business opportunities

    Proposal summary:

    We want to determine if root weight and quality of North American Ginseng is affected by removing the seed producing flower spikes as soon as they appear. It is believed by some that the production of seed berries denies energy from the plant the might otherwise be used for root growth. Some cultivators practice this method to increase the size of their roots already while other experts believe that the size of the root is genetically inherited in the plant. The study will focus on the economic trade offs of this practice. If a larger/heavier root can be developed by removing the flowering spikes, we'll be able to learn if it results in lower quality root and therefore a lower price per root than ginseng roots developed from plants while are allowed to produce seeds each year. Also we'll consider the economic gain vs. loss realized from the loss of seed production each year verses the additional price per root benefit at harvest time.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.