Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Poor Man's Ginseng, False Ginseng, Dang Shen
Codonopsis pilosula

Family: Campanulaceae (kam-pan-yew-LAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Codonopsis (kod-on-OP-sis) (Info)
Species: pilosula (pil-OH-suh-luh) (Info)

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

14 members have or want this plant for trade.

Vines and Climbers

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

6-9 in. (15-22 cm)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Pale Green

Bloom Time:
Late Summer/Early Fall

Unknown - Tell us

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

Click thumbnail
to view:

By Michaelp
Thumbnail #1 of Codonopsis pilosula by Michaelp

By Michaelp
Thumbnail #2 of Codonopsis pilosula by Michaelp

By bartjestuin
Thumbnail #3 of Codonopsis pilosula by bartjestuin


1 positive
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral taramark On Mar 19, 2004, taramark from (Zone 4a) wrote:

I have two seedlings, and although I mist them several times a day, each have a leaf that is dried on the edge.

Positive Michaelp On Feb 6, 2004, Michaelp from Glendale, UT (Zone 5a) wrote:

I grow this on the same trellis as Chayote and Dioscorea species-the root is harvested after a few years to make a medicinal tonic-it is a famous Chinese energy tonic that is good for blood and vital energy--called Dang-shen in China


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Ceres, California
Falmouth, Maine
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Helena, Montana
Marshall, North Carolina
Katy, Texas
Chimacum, Washington

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