West Virginia ginseng harvest subject to restrictions

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – West Virginia’s 2017 ginseng season, which opened Friday and continues through November, requires diggers to replant seeds from the parent in the same spot.

According to state commerce officials, the perennial herb grows slowly and seeds take two years to germinate. It can be found in all the state’s 55 counties.

Plants with less than three prongs are considered too young to harvest.

The native herb sold last year for an average of $410 per pound, roughly 300 roots.

Harvesting is prohibited in state forests, parks and other state-owned lands. Hunters need written permission to dig plants from others’ private property.

State authorities say that diggers have until March 31 to sell to a registered dealer or have it recorded at a Division of Forestry weigh station.

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