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Museum of Natural History
Ginseng, once widespread in Maryland, now dwindling
Ginseng, once widespread in Maryland, now dwindling

Ginseng, one of the most sought-after medicinal herbs in the world, once flourished across much of Maryland. It has nearly vanished now, though, from all but the westernmost counties, prompting officials to ponder banning commercial harvest of the lucrative plant from all state lands. A recent survey coordinated by Christopher F. Puttock, a research associate with the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History, found that the cure-all plant known to scientists as Panax quinquefolius has disappeared from spots in the eastern and central parts of Maryland where patches had been seen 30 years ago. Places in Baltimore, Calvert, Harford, Prince George's and...

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