Serving the citizens of Arkansas and the agricultural and business communities by providing information and unbiased enforcement of laws and regulations set by the Arkansas State Plant Board
Arkansas is one of 18 states that has and maintains an approved program for the harvest and export of wild ginseng set forth by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Washington, D.C. Ginseng is heavily regulated and falls under the CITES Endangered Species Act that pertains to the export of potentially endangered species. Due to international demand for this plant, the regulations are in place to prevent overharvest and the resulting threat of loss of this plant. The regulations for ginseng control the size/age of the plant, the period of harvest, the requirement that the plants possess red berries that are planted on site, and where ginseng can be legally harvested. There is no legal collection of ginseng from any federal or state-managed land in Arkansas at this time. Ginseng can only be harvested from private property with the owner’s permission. Click here for Ginseng Rules.
The Arkansas Department of Agriculture issues licenses for Ginseng Dealers who wish to purchase ginseng roots from diggers. Click here for a Ginseng Dealer License Application. There currently is no license requirement for ginseng diggers.
For the 2022 harvest season, 798 pounds dry ginseng and 220 pounds of green ginseng were purchased by licensed Ginseng Dealers.
In Arkansas, Ginseng is found only in moist, shaded locations in the Ozark and Ouachita Mountains and on Crowley’s Ridge. This plant is very sensitive to seasonal conditions such as rain and temperature. During dry years, it often goes dormant before the harvest season begins. Also, wild digging is often influenced by the market demand in China, Hong Kong, and South Korea, as well as the local economy. The harvest is much more intensive in Johnson, Madison, Newton, and Searcy Counties, where ginseng is known to be most abundant. There is also one Ginseng Nursery that is licensed to sell ginseng plants and ginseng seeds.