Angelica should be harvested in early autumn. Angelica sinensis Common names: Chinese angelica, dang gui, women's angelica. Remarks: Chinese angelica is an erect perennial with large, bright green, divided leaves and hollow stems that bears umbels of small white flowers in early summer.
Angelica can be confused with water hemlock Oenanthe crocata , which is poisonous. Roots should be harvested in the fall of the second year. Anthemis tinctoria Common names: yellow chamomile, golden marguerite, dyer's chamomile. Remarks: Yellow chamomile, a short-lived perennial, has bright green, pungent, finely divided, feathery leaves, and yellow, daisy-like flowers that are borne singly on long, thin stems.
The plant cannot survive extreme heat or drought. Leaves are harvested in spring and early summer. Flowers are harvested in full bloom. Arctium lappa Common names: Japanese burdock, beggar's buttons, lappa, gobo, burdock, burrseed. Remarks: Japanese burdock is a biennial plant with large leaves that are dark green on the top and downy grey on the bottom.
Ginseng as a Native Forest Resource
Flowers are purple and thistle-like, with hooked bracts burrs. Roots are usually harvested in the early fall of the first year or in the spring of the second year. Old roots become pithy and bitter. The roots are long up to 1 m and may require specialized harvest equipment.
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Some growers cultivate in beds mixed with wood chips or sawdust to loosen the soil. Japanese burdock roots can be confused with the poisonous roots of deadly nightshade Atropa belladonna. Arnica montana Common names: arnica, mountain tobacco, leopard's bane, wolfsbane. Remarks: Arnica is a perennial with single yellow flowers blooming all summer long. Leaves are light green, hairy and oval. It can be found growing wild in mountainous regions.
Flowers and leaves are picked in mid-summer before full bloom. Roots can be dug in the second or third year of growth in the late fall. Astragalus membranaceous Common names: milkvetch, huang qi, Chinese milkvetch.
Remarks: Astragalus is a perennial with hairy stems and pinnate leaves made up of pairs of leaflets. Roots are harvested in the fall after three or more years of growth. Borago officinalis Common names: borage, bugloss. Remarks: Borage is an upright annual with hollow, bristle-covered branches, oblong leaves and star-shaped purple flowers that bloom from early summer to fall.
Borage is now found growing wild in North America. It is best grown directly from seed. Flowers and leaves can be collected throughout the summer. Caulophylum thalictroides Common names: blue cohosh, blueberry root, blue ginseng, papoose root, squaw root. Remarks: Blue cohosh is a woodland perennial native to hardwood forests.
Growing American Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) in Forestlands | VCE Publications | Virginia Tech
It bears two- or three-lobed leaves with a tall stem with yellowish-green to maroon flowers in spring. Blue berries are produced after flowering. Rhizomes are harvested in the fall, winter or early spring. Chamaelirium luteum Common names: false unicorn, fairywand, blazing star, devil's bit, grub root. Remarks: False unicorn is a perennial native to wet areas in mixed or open woodlands.
A flower spike is sent up from a rosette of smooth, lance-shaped evergreen leaves. White male and green female flowers are produced on separate plants. Female plants are leafier than the male plants. Roots are harvested in the fall after years. Chelidonium majus Common names: celandine, swallow wort, tetter wort. Remarks: Celandine is a variable biennial or perennial with a thick, multi-branched taproot. Yellow-green, pinnate leaves are made up of pairs of oblong leaflets and a large terminal leaflet. Stems are brittle, and both stem and damaged leaves exude an orange sap, which will stain clothes.
Flowers are yellow, with four petals. Celandine has naturalized in parts of North America. This herb is subject to legal restrictions in some countries and if used in excess can cause sleepiness, skin irritation, irritant coughing and difficulty breathing. The plant requires regular watering. Above-ground parts are harvested in the spring or early summer. Dioscoria villosa Common names: wild yam, Atlantic yam, China root, devil's bones.
Remarks: Wild yam is a perennial vine that grows on roadsides and forest edges. Slender rhizomes are harvested in fall, and the plant is harvested in the summer at full bloom. Echinacea spp. Common names: Echinacea, purple coneflower, hedgehog, black Sampson. Remarks: Echinacea species are upright perennials with alternate, lance-shaped leaves and prominent white to purple flowers blooming from mid-summer to fall.
There are several species used medicinally with E.
While roots, leaves and flowers can be used, the root has the most uses. Roots are harvested in the fall, while leaves and flowers are harvested at bloom. Genista tinctoria Common names: dyer's broom, dyer's greenweed, Genista broom. Remarks: Dyer's broom is a deciduous shrub with leaves that are narrow, bright green and about 2.
Yellow flowers are borne in spikes and resemble pea flowers. Leafy branches should be cut before seed has set. The dried herb has a 1-year shelf-life. Hydrastis canadensis Common names: goldenseal, eyebalm, eyebright, Indian dye, Indian paint, turmeric. Remarks: Goldenseal is a perennial native to hardwood forests.
It is considered an endangered species in the wild, and its culture and collection are governed by the Endangered Species Act in Ontario. It produces a single stem with two lobed leaves and a greenish white flower. The flower eventually produces a raspberry-like fruit that is inedible.
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The roots are harvested in the fall after several years of growth, and leaves are harvested in the fall after the seeds ripen. Collecting goldenseal roots, leaves or seeds from the wild is illegal in Ontario. Hypericum perforatum Common names: St. John's wort, warriors wound, amber, touch and heal, grace of God.
Remarks: St. John's wort is a perennial with small stalkless leaves covered with tiny holes and scented yellow flowers in summer. It spreads by numerous underground rhizomes. It now grows naturally in North America and is considered a problem weed in pastures, as grazing livestock can be poisoned.
Related Ginseng and Other Medicinal Plants (Illustrated)
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