Aralia trifolia (L.) Decne. & Planch.
Aralia triphylla Poir.
Ginseng trifolium (L.) Alph.Wood
Panax lanceolatus Raf.
Panax pusillus Sims
Common Name: Ground Nut
Panax trifolius is a herbaceous perennial plant growing from a stout tuberous rhizome; it produces a cluster of one or more unbranched stems around 20cm tall with usually three leaves in a whorl at the summit of the stem[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and medicine
Eastern N. America - Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia, south to Tennessee, Georgia and North Carolina
Rich, moist woods and damp clearings[
A plant of shady places in rich, moist but generally well-drained woodland soils[
The roots of all the various Panax species are used medicinally. They are considered to be most effective if harvested when around 6 - 7 years old[
The plant has leaves above the ground for only two months each year[
Although plants are hermaphrodite, individual flowers are often male[
Root - cooked[
]. A very palatable taste after being boiled[
]. When cold it has a taste somewhat like nuts[
The roots of all the various species in the genus Panax are known to be rich sources of a range of medicinally active compounds, especially saponins. All of the species, especially those in eastern Asia, are highly valued for their medicinal virtues. The best-known species in the genus (Panax ginseng) has a history of medicinal use going back many centuries. The other species are also valued in their own right, as well as often also being used and labelled as ginseng.
Although closely related to the well-known herbal medicine ginseng, this species has been little researched for its medicinal virtues[
A tea made from the whole plant has been used in the treatment of colic, indigestion, gout, hepatitis, chest pains etc[
The root is analgesic and antirheumatic[
]. It has been chewed as a treatment for headache, short breath, fainting and nervous debility[
Seed - sow in a shady position in a cold frame preferably as soon as it is ripe, otherwise as soon as the seed is obtained. It can be very slow and erratic to germinate. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a shady position in the greenhouse or frame for at least their first winter. Make sure the pots are deep enough to accommodate the roots. Plant out into their permanent positions in late summer.
Division in spring.