American ginseng ( Panax quinquefolius ) though uncommon in most of the U.S., is a wild growing plant that is found in certain areas of Alabama. Harvesting of this plant is regulated due to unchecked collecting because of a strong overseas demand and high prices on the overseas market. American ginseng is considered a threatened plant species and therefore is regulated by the State of Alabama. To legally collect ginseng in Alabama, collectors must obtain a permit to harvest wild ginseng from the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries. To purchase and sell/export ginseng, parties must obtain a dealers permit to be able to legally do so. These permits must be renewed annually in order to continue to legally collect and export ginseng. Ginseng can only be collected between September 1st and December 31st and sold/exported between September 15th and March 31st.
Permits registration is between July 1st and December 15th of each calendar year.
For a complete listing of the codes and regulations regarding harvesting ginseng and the selling/exporting of ginseng, see the links below.