CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Ginseng harvest season has arrived in West Virginia.

The ginseng season begins Friday and runs through Nov. 30. The state Department of Commerce says that by law, only ginseng plants with three or more prongs are old enough to harvest. The number indicates the plant’s age.

Diggers have until March 31 to sell the roots to a state-registered ginseng dealer. That’s also the deadline for diggers who don’t sell their ginseng to obtain a weight receipt from the Division of Forestry allowing them to possess ginseng from April 1 through Aug. 31.

Ginseng must be certified before leaving the state. Only registered dealers can obtain proper certification to transport ginseng across state lines.

Ginseng root is thought to have medicinal properties, and has sold for hundreds of dollars a pound.

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