What ecological role does it play?
American ginseng is a food source for white-tailed deer, and its seeds and fruits are foraged by small rodents. Although it is possible for the ginseng plant to recover from predation, its current small population size and uncontrolled deer populations make recovery in the wild difficult.
What threats does it face?
Wild American and Asian ginseng is highly sought after by poachers due to buyer demand. Although Canada grows American ginseng as a crop to keep up with export demands, some buyers still believe the wild species to be of higher quality. Both Ontario and Quebec have now banned the harvesting of wild species, but poaching still continues to impact American ginseng’s population size. Deforestation and invasive species have further impacted its habitat.
What is this species’ conservation status?
Since 1999, American ginseng in Canada has been deemed as endangered by the Committee for the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada.