What Is the Biggest Ginseng Root Ever Found? (Solved & Explained!)

The largest ginseng root ever found was discovered in Western Maryland, USA. Mark MacDonald discovered the root on his private land in Western Allegany County. It weighed a remarkable 1.11 lbs, and the main body’s length measured more than a foot.

Continue reading this article to learn more about the largest ginseng root ever found in the world.

Who Found the Largest Ginseng Root in the World?

The most giant ginseng root in the world was founded by Mark MacDonald and his father.

MacDonald and his father had dug a lot of ginseng over the years. However, when Mark MacDonald and his dad, Carey, went ginseng hunting in September of 2015, they had no clue they’d come upon the world’s largest wild ginseng root. 

Where and When Was the Largest Ginseng Root in the World Found?

Mark and Carey made their discovery early in the month of September 2015, on a Sunday afternoon while hiking a secluded section of forest in western Allegany County, Maryland.

How MacDonald Found the Largest Ginseng Root in the World.

MacDonald and his father had previously been to that exact location numerous times and knew what to look for. When they spotted the plant, they immediately saw the pod attached. 

Mark measured the plant’s stem to be approximately the same size as his little finger, so both he and his dad knew it might be a root worth digging for right away, but it wasn’t until they started moving the ground that they uncovered the mighty treasure.

MacDonald said he and his father expected a decent-sized root, perhaps 4-5 ounces, but he never imagined he’d be pulling out such a massive root.

“It just kept coming and coming. We took an hour and a half to pull it out,” he claimed. “It took an eternity just to get to the body of the root.” They were both completely taken aback.”

Digging Out the Prized Ginseng Root.

The root’s bottom end had been entangled under several huge boulders. MacDonald and his father used every instrument they had, which wasn’t much as their expedition had been planned on a whim.

The excavation diameter was 4-5 feet, and extreme caution was taken as they went closer to the root’s bottom. The root value may have been dramatically lowered if it had been damaged.

They were quite fortunate and got out the whole root with minimal damage. 

How Much Did the Ginseng Root Weigh?

The resulting enormous tuber is football-sized, with a big bulbous neck and heavy legs that decrease down to foot-long roots. It weighs only 1.11 pounds yet appears considerably heavier.

Most ginseng roots are a fraction of an ounce in weight. According to MacDonald, a 1-ounce ginseng root is considered a significant find, so he was thrilled to have found such a treasure.

Was the Ginseng Root Verified?

The root was verified by The Maryland Department of Agriculture, which weighed 1.1 pounds. It is the largest ginseng root ever discovered in Maryland, the US or the globe.

The root is thought to be 60-years-old, with others speculating it could be aged up to 100-years-old. Due to the apparent structure of the root neck, it is believed the root is between 35 and 45 years old.

Other Ginseng Roots Found by MacDonald

MacDonald is a qualified ginseng trader as well as a digger. The dealer licence allows him to sell roots out of state; this is his first season with the licence, and it was a stroke of luck since this large root may fetch an extraordinarily high price.

To put things into perspective, McDonald stated that before finding the root talked about in this article, his largest root this season only weighed one ounce.

General Marketing and Sale Prices of Ginseng Root.

According to the Wall Street Journal, forest-grown ginseng sells for around $1,000 per pound, with farmed roots selling for a fraction of that. According to the US Fish and Wildlife Service, US exports of wild ginseng have declined from a peak of 130,000 pounds in 1992 to roughly 40,000 pounds currently, with a wholesale value of $26.9 million.

How Much Ginseng Root Worth on the Market per Pound?

Wild ginseng was selling for $400-500 per dry pound in September 2007. It was then selling for more than $800 per dry pound in November 2007.

How Much Did MacDonald Want for His Ginseng Root in 2017?

MacDonald stated that he has previously rejected offers ranging from $50,000 to $60,000 for his ginseng discovery.

“I just can’t speculate,” MacDonald remarked. “It may be worth $10,000, or it may be worth a half-million dollars.” “I’m not sure, and I honestly don’t know.”

MacDonald said although he’s already had high offers to purchase the root. However he’s stated that he’s taking his time and will part with the root when the price and situation are right. However, MacDonald stated that the price is now relatively low due to China’s suffering economy.

Where is the Largest Wild Ginseng Root in the World Now?

For many years, MacDonald had the root kept well wrapped with moss and stored in a dry, secure location to protect its integrity.

In 2018, MacDonald reached out to the media to state that the massive ginseng root was finally purchased. However, MacDonald, who sold it, said that he wouldn’t ever reveal the buyer, or the amount of money involved.

“I did sell it,” Mark MacDonald said. I signed a legal agreement not to reveal the price or who bought it. I can say that it travelled to China, and we were really fortunate and pleased with the outcome.”

Is this Ginseng Root a World Record Holder?

The largest ginseng in the Guinness Book of World Records weighs 2 pounds, although it is a produced root, not a wild one. MacDonald’s ginseng root is the first wild root considered for Guinness.

MacDonald has already approached Guinness with information on his root, and they have no record for a wild ginseng root. Paperwork has been completed, and MacDonald is awaiting a response.