RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - As Virginia's ginseng harvest season begins, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is reminding residents about regulations aimed at protecting the plant.

American ginseng grows wild in Virginia's forests. It is listed as a threatened species under the state's Endangered Plant and Insect Species Act.

Ginseng collection is prohibited on most public lands in Virginia.

On public lands where ginseng harvesting is allowed, diggers must obtain a permit. On private property, anyone harvesting ginseng must obtain permission from the property owner.

Wild ginseng harvest season begins on Sept. 1 and ends on Dec. 31 of each year.

Ginseng younger than five years old cannot be harvested. Anyone who harvests wild ginseng must plant the seeds of the harvested plant at the harvest site at the time of the harvest.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.