RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia has adopted new regulations aimed at ensuring that wild ginseng survives in the state.
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services says the regulations address concerns voiced by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that the state's practices weren't adequate.
The changes include pushing back the opening of the harvesting season from Aug. 15 to Sept. 1.
Only ginseng that's at least 5 years old can be harvested. The regulations also prohibit harvesting wild ginseng that has fewer than four stem scars on its rhizome or has fewer than three prongs.
Ginseng dealers can only buy uncertified dry wild ginseng root from Sept. 15 through March 31.
The regulations don't apply to people who harvest wild ginseng on their own land.