The roots of the Asian P. ginseng C. A. Mey. have for centuries been used medicinally by the Chinese. The American ginseng, P. quinquefolius, has similar often forked roots, suggesting a two-legged person, and hence is similarly reputed to have curative and tonic properties; it is therefore under considerable commercial pressure, especially for export to Asia, and has become quite rare throughout its range in eastern North America.
1. Leaflets all distinctly stalked, petiolules (0.8–) 1–2.5 cm long, at least the larger ones 3.5–6 (–7) cm wide, ± obovate, abruptly acuminate; styles (in bisexual flowers) all or mostly 2; root elongate, often forked; ripe fruit bright red.
1. Leaflets sessile or subsessile, 0.5–2.5 cm wide, narrowly elliptic to lanceolate, obtuse or rounded to acute (but not acuminate); styles (in bisexual flowers) all or mostly 3; root spherical; ripe fruit yellow-green.
All species found in Panax
MICHIGAN FLORA ONLINE. A. A. Reznicek, E. G. Voss, & B. S. Walters. February 2011. University of Michigan. Web. April 28, 2017. http://michiganflora.net/genus.aspx?id=Panax.