Goji Berry

February’s featured plant was the Goji Berry – talk by Jane Collins

There are two varieties of Goji Berries Lycium bartarium or box thorn

The plant itself looks fairly ordinary with thin canes and long dull green leaves. It is actually a member of the Solanaceae family (tomatoes and chillies).

The plant has several growth flushes during the season and in between tends to rest with no active growth.
It is at the ends of the new growth that clusters of cream/purple flowers form especially in late spring.
These give way to long thin green berries (like Thai chillies) that mature in December to an orange colour and can be picked and eaten raw.

The flavour is sweet and like a common cranberry. They are quite delicious in fact.
In autumn the leaves turn yellow before dropping and you are left with a clump of wiry looking canes as the plant enters its rest period until growth starts again in spring with new shoots.

Prune hard in winter. Jane grows her Goji berries in pots.
There are two types of berry: bartarium is compact at 2.5 x 2.5m while chinese is rambling with 6m long horizontal branches.
Best stick with the potted barbarium.

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