Sunday, May 21, 2006

The "Man Plant"

Panax trifolius:

The above plant is the Dwarf Ginseng. It is not a spectacular plant by some and it is often overlooked on the forest floor. It blooms in this Ohio area around April and produces yellow berries soon after blooming. It is typically found in rich woods.

The word ginseng is thought to be a corruption of the Chinese schin-seng, schin-sen, or jin-shen, meaning "man-like", or "man-plant". Some Native Americans called it garantoguen, which has a similar meaning.

Native Americans made use of this plant to treat ailments such as indigestion, headaches, colic, gout, and hives. Although I have no idea how effective was this treatment.

Fortunately for this plant, it is rarely collected.

Although some may consider this plant not to be spectacular, I personally think that the star like blossoms are rather precious.

Photographic credits goes to Thomas. I think that the photography skills of Thomas has made the unspectacular very spectacular, no? Please click on the photo for a great close-up!


Blogger Muddy, said...

That's a cool picture - my pet human, Terry, is always trying to identify local plants.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006 6:28:00 AM  
Blogger Gary said...

I was under the impression that ginsing has some kind of relaxing effect like caffiene. Maybe not.

I also didn't know it was grown by native americans. I wonder if they brought it with them from asia thousands of years ago?

Tuesday, May 23, 2006 8:03:00 AM  
Blogger Fat Pants said...

Very informative and interesting. Thanks Katie.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006 6:36:00 AM  
Blogger Katie said...

The Panax trifolius is actually a different species from the asian ginseng. Same genus, but different species. I probably should expanded more on it in my post. However, isn't it neat that we have our own native ginseng?

Thursday, May 25, 2006 3:00:00 PM  

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