Ginseng season opens in West Virginia

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Ginseng diggers are heading to West Virginia's forests as the season for harvesting the plant opens.

West Virginia's ginseng season begins Thursday 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.

Ginseng diggers have until March 31 to sell the roots to a registered ginseng dealer in the state. That's also the deadline for diggers who don't sell their ginseng to obtain a weight receipt from the West Virginia Division of Forestry. The receipt allows diggers 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.

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