Family, Ginseng. Color of flowers white, of fruit red. Flowers, staminate and pistillate on different plants. Leaves, 3 in a whorl, on a low stem, palmately divided into 5 long-stalked leaflets. July and August.
The members of the Ginseng Family, with their pretty leaves and delicate flowers, are among the choicest finds of the woods. In their botanical features they are not unlike the parsleys, having a short, toothed calyx, 5 petals, 5 stamens, and from 2 to 5 styles. Compound leaves and small white (or greenish) flowers in umbels complete the likeness. But they differ from the rank and often baneful parsleys in one important respect. None of the ginsengs is poisonous. Their roots are aromatic, of pleasant flavor. The ginseng has a stem 1 foot high, bearing above the leaves a simple umbel of white flowers, and later a cluster of bright red, berry-like drupes.