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Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Panax (old Greek name, meaning all healing or a panacea). Araliaceae. A genus of seven or eight species of hardy perennials none of which is of cultural importance except P. quinquefolium, Linn., the Ginseng, which see (Vol. III). They have aromatic roots, digitately compound leaves and greenish white flowers in a terminal umbel. They are all natives of the North Temperate Zone, mostly in Asia and North American. For an account of the tender plants heretofore included in this genus, see Polyscias.

The genus as now defined is distinguished by the thickish roots or tubers from which arise erect simple short sts. bearing 1 whorl of 3 digitate lvs. which have 3 or 5 lfts.: umbels terminal and solitary, simple, bearing small white or greenish polygamous fls.; calyx obscurely 5-toothed; petals 5, spreading; stamens 5, alternating with petals; styles 2 or 3 :fr. a 2- or 3-seeded little drupe. Two species are native in the eastern U. S. and Canada. P. quinquefolium, Linn. (Ginseng quinquefolium, Wood. Aralia quinquefolia, Decne. & Planch.).

Ginseng, growing in rich woods Que. to Minn, and south to Ala.: about 1 ft. high from a more or less branching thick root: lfts. usually 5, stalked, the basal pair much smaller than the others, all ovate or obovate, dentate, acuminate: peduncle an inch or two long, bearing a 6-20-fld. umbel; styles usually 2: fr. bright red. P. trifolium, Linn. (Ginseng trifolium, Wood. Aralia trifolia, Decne. & Planch.), Ground-nut (Fig. 2740), native in moist mostly low or flat woods, Nova Scotia to Iowa and Ga.: delicate little plant about 6 in. high, with a deep globular blackish tuber or root about ½ in. diam.: lfts. mostly 3, sessile, oval to oblance- olate, obtuse, serrate: peduncles an inch or two long, bearing a few whitish often monoecious fls.; styles usually 3: fr. 3-angled or 2-sided, yellowish. An attractive but not showy early spring bloomer, suitable for colonizing in moist shady places. CH

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