The widely varied family includes also the dwarf ginseng ( P. trifolium ) of North America; the English ivy ( Hedera helix ), a popular ornamental evergreen vine; the Hercules'-club, devil's-club, or devil's-walking-stick (names applied to several related species) of North America and E Asia, used locally for medicinal purposes; and the rice-paper plant ( Tetrapanax papyriferus ) of China, the pith of which is used to make Chinese rice paper. Native American species of this family include the wild sarsaparilla ( Aralia nudicaulis ) and the American, or wild, spikenard ( A. racemosa ). The names sarsaparilla and spikenard are applied also to plants of other families.
Ginseng is classified in the division Magnoliophyta , class Magnoliopsida, order Apiales, family Araliaceae.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Plants