What type of canopy/tree species are required to grow ginseng, goldenseal, and/or black cohosh?

Assuming the species in question are ginseng, goldenseal, and black cohosh, look for a stand of mature hardwoods — typically beech, birch, maple, tulip poplar, oak, and cherry located on north- and northeastern-facing slopes. Some pines can be present but shouldn’t predominate. The site should have dabbled shade (70 to 85 percent) and the soils should be well drained and high in organic matter.

Is forest farming of high-value medicinals a potentially profitable business? How much money could I make?

The answer to the first question is, “yes,” but the key word is, “potentially.” As with any business venture, some risk is involved, and other considerations must be factored in before deciding if a business is worthwhile.

A primary consideration before beginning forest farming is the productive range of the medicinal plant. Plants, such as American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) and goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis), do not tend to grow well outside of their …

Black Cohosh (Actaea racemosa L.)

***Please note there is a downloadable version of the fact sheet as a pdf file at the end of the article.*** 

Black Cohosh  (Actaea racemosa L.)

Botanical Information

Black cohosh [formerly Cimicifuga racemosa (L.) Nutt] is a member of the Ranunculaceae family. It is a native medicinal plant found in rich hardwood forests from as far north as Maine and Ontario, south to Georgia, and west to Missouri and Indiana. In North Carolina, it can be found at elevations