Missouri State Ginseng Laws

In Missouri you are not required to possess a license to harvest wild ginseng on private land. However, you must have the property owner’s permission. Without previous permission from the property owner, you may be subject to prosecution for trespassing and/or theft.

On U.S Forest Service land in Missouri, the digging or taking of plants for personal consumption is allowed by permit, but commercial harvest is prohibited. No collecting is allowed in wilderness areas. Harvesting ginseng on most state-owned lands is prohibited.

  • It is illegal to harvest ginseng on any property owned or administered by MDC.
  • Wild ginseng may be harvested from Sept. 1 through Dec. 31. Dried ginseng may be purchased, sold or transported from Sept. 15 through March 15. Wet or undried ginseng may be purchased, sold or transported from Sept. 1 through March 15. Certified roots may be possessed, purchased, sold, transported, or exported throughout the year.
  • Wild and cultivated Missouri ginseng plants or roots exported from the state must be certified by MDC. Roots may be imported from other states, territories or countries only with an appropriate certificate of origin.
  • Harvested ginseng plants or roots must possess at least three true leaves (prongs). The fruiting stalk and stem, except the mature fruits, must be kept with the plant until it is returned to the harvester’s home or place of business. The seeds from each harvested plant must be planted within 100 feet of the parent plant.
  • Any person, group or business that purchases ginseng roots in Missouri for resale is considered a Missouri ginseng dealer unless the person or entity does not maintain a ginseng business address in Missouri and is registered as a dealer in another state. All Missouri ginseng dealers must register annually with MDC. Dealers must provide quarterly reports of all transactions and an annual inventory report.

For more information, contact:
Resource Science Division, Missouri Department of Conservation
P.O. Box 180, Jefferson City, MO 65102
phone: (573) 751-4115

All information courtesy of MO Department of Conservation.

For more information about Missouri Ginseng laws, check out the Missouri Department of Conservation Ginseng page here.

ALWAYS be sure you understand and follow all State and Federal Ginseng laws. This information is only a guide; be sure to check with your state for the most recent laws and regulations.