A shrub with woody canes growing from its root crown.
Moderate to rapid depending on location.
8' high and 13' wide.
Small, composed of 5-6 purple to pink petals, with long whitish stamens.
Spring or summer.
Yes. If bees do not come around, hand pollination will be needed.
Years before fruiting:
Oval, red, 5/8" to 1-1/4" long, edible.
Months for fruit to ripen:
3. The fruit are ripe when fully red. Harvest the fruit by shaking each
branch so the ripe berries fall onto a tarp on the ground. Avoid touching the berries to avoid oxidizing the
fruit which then turns black.
Storage after harvest:
Unwashed berries can be refrigerated one week or more.
Once washed, they can be eaten fresh or frozen. They can be dried at 100°F for three days, unwashed
to avoid stickiness, and later cooked. Drying at higher temperatures destroys nutrients. Sun drying outdoors
is recommended when there is no possibility of rain.
Shiny green, oval. The leaves are edible, which is unusual for nightshade plants because
they are normally poisonous. The young leaved shoots have a cress or peppermint flavor.
Weakly arching, with thorns appearing after the second year. They send out lateral shoots
after the third year, which can become invasive.
A taproot and extensive side roots.
Species of Note:
Lycium barbarum: Goji Berry
survives in USDA hardiness zones 3-10. This is the most widely grown Lycium species.
Lycium chinense: Chinese Desert-thorn / Goji Berry
originated in Tibet and is suitable for USDA Hardiness Zones 6-9. It is often confused with Lycium
The flowers attract bees, the berries attract birds, and the leaves attract deer and other
Toxic / Danger:
Thorns. While there is some indication that the bark may be harmless, to be on the
safe side, consider all parts of the Goji Berry poisonous except the ripe fruit and leaves. Consumption of
Goji Berries can interfere with some medications, such as Warfarin.