MISSOURI (KFVS) - The Missouri Department of Conservation is reminding people that digging ginseng roots or other wild plants on conservation land are illegal.
The MDC recently posted on Facebook that citations were issued after someone was found with ginseng roots, a digging tool and paw-paw fruit.
According to the department, you may collect nuts, berries, fruits (such as paw-paw), edible greens and mushrooms for personal consumption from most MDC areas except nature centers, conservation headquarters, Rockwood Reservation and Natural areas.
You cannot harvest ginseng from MDC areas and you cannot plant, dig or otherwise disturb the soil on MDC areas.
American ginseng is described as 3 to 5 leaflets and the leaves occur in a whorl at the top of the stem. A cluster of red berries is produced in the middle to late summer or early fall.
The official collecting season for ginseng is usually September 1 through December 31 when fruits are on the plant.
You can click here for wild ginseng harvest regulations in Missouri.
In Illinois, the season for harvesting wild ginseng is from the first Saturday in September through November 1, annually. You can click here for harvesting regulations in Illinois.
The harvest season for wild ginseng in Kentucky is also September 1 through December 1. You can click here for more information and harvesting regulations.