Ginseng Certification Program

The State of Vermont regulates the harvesting of wild American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius).  This includes licensing of collectors and dealers in Vermont wild ginseng, including wild-simulated ginseng, certification of roots prior to sale, and monitorin the overall health of Vermont's wild ginseng population.  Our program is conducted in cooperation with the US Fish and Wildlife Service program, in accordance with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).  Without the Vermont program, harvesting and trade in wild ginseng would be prohibited in Vermont.

Important facts about collecting wild American Ginseng in Vermont:

  • A Ginseng Collector’s Permit is required to
    collect wild ginseng in Vermont. Collectors are
    also required to obtain permission to collect
    wild ginseng on property owned by persons
    other than themselves.

  • Collection of wild ginseng on State or Federal lands in Vermont is prohibited.

  • A Ginseng Dealer’s Permit is required to buy or sell
    wild or cultivated ginseng harvested in
    Vermont. Collectors that export their Vermont
    harvests are also required to obtain a Ginseng
    Dealer’s Permit.

  • The harvest season for wild ginseng in
    Vermont is from August 20 to October 10.

  • Wild ginseng harvested during this season must be
    inspected and certified by March 31 of the
    next year.

  • Vermont state law prohibits the harvest of any
    wild ginseng that has green, unripe fruit or fewer
    than three 5-leaf prongs.

  • Vermont requires that seeds of collected wild
    ginseng be planted in the immediate locale
    from which the root was taken.

  • Federal law requires wild ginseng roots be a minimum of five years old,
    as determined by counting scars on the neck, in order to enter 
    international commerce.

  • The necks (“rhizomes”) must be present to
    certify wild ginseng roots for export from
    Vermont, unless age can be determined
    without the necks present.

  • Fresh root ('green' ginseng) must be certified
    within ten (10) days of the end of the harvest
    season (October 20).