[NAFEX] Tibetan Goji/Wolfberry plants

John S swim_at_svc at yahoo.com
Sun Nov 29 23:30:59 EST 2009


Been growing for a number of years.  So far, productivity has been disappointing, but this year saw an increase in fruit production for the first time.  Plant blooms prolifically, but fruit set is very sparse.  I think it might be an issue with a successful pollinator not being available until late summer or fall OR maybe a substantial root development required for productive fruit.  It does seem to me that pollen may only be viable for a couple of hours, based on appearance and hand pollination experimentation.  Heavy pruning seems to help fruit set and a contact from Asia grows them as bonsai in pots and sees good fruit production on plants in small pots with 1" caliper stems (my estimate).  Others growing it that I have talked to share a similar experience with fruit set, in that it is sparce or none in younger plants.  Not the abundant fruit set one would expect from the amount of flowering.

Plants are very winter hardy here in zone 5 and propagation is easy.  Cuttings start in water or soil without much problem (6", pencil thick).  I can share cuttings if anyone wants them and would like to get another sourced plant to see if cross pollination would help my fruit production here.

Fresh berry is not too tasty but not unpleasant.  Needs a long time on the vine to sweeten up after turning red.  Local birds do not bother the fruit.  I harvest mine after the first couple of frosts and still have a few fruits on the vines at the present time.  Flavor dried is much superior to flavor fresh, in my opinion.

I consider this to be potentially invasive.  My oldest vine is growing a couple of feet from an autumn olive and is out-competing the autumn olive by growing up through it, over it and around it.  I have to prune it significantly every year and for the past 4 years have been digging up and disposing tip rooted volunteers.

>From my perspective, I would not want to eat the fresh fruit in quantity, much preferring the dried.  However, as fruit production here seems to correspond to a time when there is little other berry type fruits in production (autumn olive & hardy kiwi), it makes a worthwhile addition as a supplemental.  I would go with the named variety from One Green World if I was going to do this again.  Mine was a commercially purchased seedling.  Having worked with seedlings and cuttings, I think getting a rooted cutting from a known good variety would be the best way to go.  Once these size up a bit, they are very vigorous.

John



--- On Sun, 11/29/09, derry&bill <wchase at interchange.ubc.ca> wrote:

From: derry&bill <wchase at interchange.ubc.ca>
Subject: [NAFEX] Tibetan Goji/Wolfberry plants
To: "nafex" <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
Date: Sunday, November 29, 2009, 1:51 PM

Is anyone growing Goji berry plants?

Does anyone know a source of the Tibetan Goji berry plants or seeds in 
Canada?  In the US?

Lycium barbarum is the northern Chinese Goji and Lycium chinense is the 
southern Goji.

I think the Tibetan Goji berry is a strain of L barbarum.

Goji is also known as Wolfberry.

Thanks,

Derry Walsh
South Coastal B.C.
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