Growth characteristics of American Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L.) woods and field - cultivated at Northern Europe
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In Latvia, Northern Europe, American ginseng was grown in three forest types with different dominant species, as well as in agricultural field conditions - cultivated under artificial shade with three different types of mulches. Field cultivation yielded higher yields, root length, and root weight than wood cultivation under dominant species Corylus avellana, Betula pendula, and Picea abies. Mulching had a positive impact on ginseng growth in the field. Mulching with straw and buckwheat hulls resulted in longer and heavier roots. In American ginseng roots, the contents of six ginsenosides were determined: Rg1, Re, Rb1, Rc, Rb2, and Rd. Re was the most abundant ginsenoside, followed by Rb1 > Rd > Rg1 = Rb2 > Rd. The total content of ginsenosides in our study did not reach the 4 percent threshold set by US Pharmacopeia. These findings show that Panax quinquefolium can be grown in Northern Europe at 57°N, but it takes more than four years to achieve adequate yields and ginsenoside content.