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Goji berry plants?

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  • aimsalo
    Hello, Thank you for the info on Chaya, I recently bought a stick of one from Nature & decouvertes in Paris, and put it in a pot indoors, but sadly the stick
    Message 1 of 10 , Mar 22, 2007
      Hello,

      Thank you for the info on Chaya, I recently bought a stick of one from
      Nature & decouvertes in Paris, and put it in a pot indoors, but sadly
      the stick never (in the 2 months I gave it) grew into a plant! Maybe it
      didn't like to go through the security, it was too old & dry, or I'm
      just not a very good gardener. I couldn't find any information about
      how to grow it (except keep at 20 C and moist) or eat it.

      I just noticed my health food shop sells this new 'miracle' berry
      called Goji, which apparently is the same as species Lycium barbarum or
      L. chinense. On PFAF website they don't seem to have as high a
      medicinal rating as people elsewhere seem to think - it's supposed to
      have 19 amino acids, 21 trace minerals, lots of C (2500mg/100g), B, E,
      anti-oxidants, beta-sitosterol, cyperone, betaine, bioactive
      polysaccharides etc...

      Anyway, they are already naturalised in Britain - this means I should
      be able to grow one in my back garden in London. Does anyone know where
      could I get the plant/seed from? I don't really know what it looks
      like, so can't go looking around the hedgerows in Norfolk...

      Very grateful for hints,

      Ann
    • Cindy
      Ann, I bought wolfberry/goji seeds on eBay. I didn t get them to germinate yet, but that might be because I didn t really follow the instructions. I think I
      Message 2 of 10 , Mar 22, 2007
        Ann, I bought wolfberry/goji seeds on eBay. I didn't
        get them to germinate yet, but that might be because I
        didn't really follow the instructions. I think I
        should try again and follow the instructions this
        time. I wonder whether they will grow in Florida - if
        they grow in Britain, maybe they prefer a more
        temperate climate.

        Cindy

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      • Julie Bruton-Seal
        Hi Ann, Lycium (gou qi zi or Duke of Argyll s Tea Plant) grows along the coast here in Norfolk, around Morston. You can take the seeds out of the dried berries
        Message 3 of 10 , Mar 23, 2007
          Hi Ann,

          Lycium (gou qi zi or Duke of Argyll's Tea Plant) grows along the coast
          here in Norfolk, around Morston. You can take the seeds out of the
          dried berries you buy, to grow – just soak the berries, scoop the seeds
          out and plant them. They're easy to germinate, but I didn't manage to
          get any past about 6 inches tall as slugs seem to find them very tasty.
          They should be tough and easy once big enough to be slug proof – I plan
          to try again this year.

          Good luck!

          Julie
        • Gail
          Lycium barbarum is an introduced species here in Texas, and the USDA shows it as growing wild in Florida as well. You should also check out whatever native
          Message 4 of 10 , Mar 23, 2007
            Lycium barbarum is an introduced species here in Texas, and the USDA
            shows it as growing "wild" in Florida as well. You should also check out
            whatever native species you have, as they are just as good, or at least
            OURS are. Don't believe all the commercial hype about this plant!! It
            is a good edible and a useful medicinal, but it is far from being the
            panacea some companies claim.
            Here's the usda link

            http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=LYBA4

            Gail
          • aimsalo
            Thank you for all the replies, I think I will try the trick of germinating the seeds from a dried berry. I noticed some nurseries actually sell the plants by
            Message 5 of 10 , Mar 24, 2007
              Thank you for all the replies, I think I will try the trick of
              germinating the seeds from a dried berry. I noticed some nurseries
              actually sell the plants by mail order, so if the seeds don't
              germinate, I'll get one of those. Are they self-fertile or should I
              have several? I understood that barbarum would grow to 4m and chinense
              stay somewhat smaller (important consideration in London gardens)? But
              of course I won't know what species the dried berry is...

              A


              --- In pfaf@yahoogroups.com, Julie Bruton-Seal <herbalist@...> wrote:
              >
              > Hi Ann,
              >
              > Lycium (gou qi zi or Duke of Argyll's Tea Plant) grows along the coast
              > here in Norfolk, around Morston. You can take the seeds out of the
              > dried berries you buy, to grow – just soak the berries, scoop the seeds
              > out and plant them. They're easy to germinate, but I didn't manage to
              > get any past about 6 inches tall as slugs seem to find them very tasty.
              > They should be tough and easy once big enough to be slug proof – I plan
              > to try again this year.
              >
              > Good luck!
              >
              > Julie
              >
            • icculus2000@yahoo.com
              Hi everyone (re: the goji berries), I am currently germinating a number of Goji seeds for planting around my home (in Bermuda). I got mine from The Fountain
              Message 6 of 10 , Mar 24, 2007
                Hi everyone (re: the goji berries),

                I am currently germinating a number of Goji seeds for planting around my home (in Bermuda). I got mine from "The Fountain of Youth Goji Vineyard" in Winterset, Iowa (US).
                They make a differentiation between Tibetan Goji berries and the Chinese Wolfberry - saying that the Goji is higher in nutrients, etc, though I assume the two are related.

                In response to the original question from Ann.. I am still in the seedling stage, but Bermuda's climate is very forgiving, so I'm hopeful. In London, as you say, you should be fine, though I am guessing a sunny aspect would be preferable. You may wish to begin indoors or in a cold frame to get a head start on the spring. Alternately, you could start in pots after the last frost and bring them inside for the winter the following year. I know the growing season in London is a little short compared to here, so one of those is probably the way to go.

                As for seed sources, these people in Iowa are as good as any, but I imagine you'd find some much closer if you asked around. A good point was raised in a reply (from Julie the herbalist) that you can just buy some dried berries in a health food store and grow the seeds from those (assuming they haven't been irradiated or heat-treated, or some other corporate ploy to keep the consumers consuming.

                Anyhow, it's 1:30am here and I'm pretty tired, so good luck.. I hope you let us know how you do.

                Peace,

                Steve



                "Every thought I have imprisoned in expression I must free by my deeds."
                ~ Kahlil Gibran




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              • gsterculius
                The flowers are quite tasty too. You should be aware that they probably contain steroid compounds like those in Ashwagandha, sexual tonics and sedatives.
                Message 7 of 10 , Apr 24, 2007
                  The flowers are quite tasty too. You should be aware that they
                  probably contain steroid compounds like those in Ashwagandha, sexual
                  tonics and sedatives. Perhaps they should only be used as an
                  occasional treat rather than everyday supplement to the diet. The
                  roots are used in Chinese traditional medicine in the same way that
                  those of Ashwagandha are in India.

                  The commercial Goji berries I have seen lately are much bigger than
                  the traditional Chinese fruit used in herbalism. I suspect it would
                  be best to use seed from the fruit rather than getting plants that
                  may be from unselected varieties. The fruit on Spanish Lycium are all
                  much smaller than I have seen being sold. That might be because they
                  were growing in semi-desert conditions.

                  George

                  --- In pfaf@yahoogroups.com, "aimsalo" <aimsalo@...> wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  > Hello,
                  >
                  > Thank you for the info on Chaya, I recently bought a stick of one
                  from
                  > Nature & decouvertes in Paris, and put it in a pot indoors, but
                  sadly
                  > the stick never (in the 2 months I gave it) grew into a plant!
                  Maybe it
                  > didn't like to go through the security, it was too old & dry, or
                  I'm
                  > just not a very good gardener. I couldn't find any information
                  about
                  > how to grow it (except keep at 20 C and moist) or eat it.
                  >
                  > I just noticed my health food shop sells this new 'miracle' berry
                  > called Goji, which apparently is the same as species Lycium
                  barbarum or
                  > L. chinense. On PFAF website they don't seem to have as high a
                  > medicinal rating as people elsewhere seem to think - it's supposed
                  to
                  > have 19 amino acids, 21 trace minerals, lots of C (2500mg/100g), B,
                  E,
                  > anti-oxidants, beta-sitosterol, cyperone, betaine, bioactive
                  > polysaccharides etc...
                  >
                  > Anyway, they are already naturalised in Britain - this means I
                  should
                  > be able to grow one in my back garden in London. Does anyone know
                  where
                  > could I get the plant/seed from? I don't really know what it looks
                  > like, so can't go looking around the hedgerows in Norfolk...
                  >
                  > Very grateful for hints,
                  >
                  > Ann
                  >
                • wildwillowkins
                  Hey, I am new to the group a few weeks ago and have been following the Goji berry thread with interest. So I was very pleased to see a packet of dried Goji
                  Message 8 of 10 , Apr 29, 2007
                    Hey,

                    I am new to the group a few weeks ago and have been following the
                    Goji berry thread with interest.

                    So I was very pleased to see a packet of dried Goji with no
                    additives on sale at my local whole food shop about a week or so
                    ago. They are labelled as product of China.

                    I got round to soaking them and then cleaned out the seeds, although
                    I don't think soaking was absolutely necessary. There were anything
                    from 15 to 40 seeds in each berry which is about the size of a
                    currant or a sultana.

                    I put them in a heated propagator on Thursday and this morning I see
                    a few of the seeds which were not covered now sprouting. I must
                    have nearly a hundred seeds in the tray.

                    There seems to be a pretty good germination rate so far as I can
                    tell without disturbing them. I can understand that there might be
                    a very high loss rate if kept outdoors in the early stages. I
                    recall someone mentioned slug predation. I shall certainly be
                    looking after them closely in the early stages.

                    If managed properly and there are no distasters with the seedlings I
                    could see this being a very successful plant.

                    As to the flavour and so forth it certainly has an unusual and I
                    would say 'dense' flavour which would correlate with all those amino
                    acids and so forth. They are also very chewy. I don't think you
                    would need to eat many of these to gain the nutritional benefits.
                    In fact they get a bit sickly if too many are eaten, but this can be
                    avoided by mixing with other berries such as Bilberry or Cranberry.
                    (Going to try germinating some of these next, but the ones I have
                    are preserved in sugar so don't know if they will work as well).

                    All in all I am very glad to have been introduced to these and I
                    shall post further as and when hopefully the seedlings progress.

                    All the best,

                    Claire



                    --- In pfaf@yahoogroups.com, "gsterculius" <gsterculius@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > The commercial Goji berries I have seen lately are much bigger
                    than
                    > the traditional Chinese fruit used in herbalism. I suspect it
                    would
                    > be best to use seed from the fruit rather than getting plants that
                    > may be from unselected varieties.

                    Ann wrote
                    > > I just noticed my health food shop sells this new 'miracle'
                    berry
                    > > called Goji, which apparently is the same as species Lycium
                    > barbarum or
                    > > L. chinense.
                  • icculus2000@yahoo.com
                    Hi Claire, I live in Bermuda, and germinated my Gojis in late winter on a floating screen (indoors). When they were nearly an inch and getting some green I
                    Message 9 of 10 , Apr 30, 2007
                      Hi Claire,

                      I live in Bermuda, and germinated my Gojis in late winter on a floating screen (indoors). When they were nearly an inch and getting some green I put them in individual flats and set them outdoors. Most have done just fine, and are attaining six inches with a healthy upright aspect and uniform mid green. Granted, Bermuda winters are not the most challenging environment you could introduce your plants to, but I wanted to add a P.S. to your note on setting them out after germination.. they didn't seem to mind wind and quite heavy rain.

                      Happy growing (your sugar-preserved berries should sprout seed unless they used heat to reduce the sugar to crystalline form).

                      Peace,

                      Steve.



                      "Every thought I have imprisoned in expression I must free by my deeds."
                      ~ Kahlil Gibran




                      ---------------------------------
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                    • wildwillowkins
                      Hey Steve, Thanks for your comments:-) I m wondering what parts of China the bushes grow in, because of the wide variation in climatic conditions. Sounds like
                      Message 10 of 10 , May 4, 2007
                        Hey Steve,

                        Thanks for your comments:-)

                        I'm wondering what parts of China the bushes grow in, because of the
                        wide variation in climatic conditions.

                        Sounds like they will tolerate temperate conditions rather than just
                        tropical.

                        I shall get on to the cranberries and blueberry seeds the moment my
                        propagator has an inch of space free!

                        All the best,

                        Claire

                        --- In pfaf@yahoogroups.com, <icculus2000@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Hi Claire,
                        >
                        > I live in Bermuda,
                        > but I wanted to add a P.S. to your note on setting them out after
                        germination.. they didn't seem to mind wind and quite heavy rain.
                        >
                        > Happy growing (your sugar-preserved berries should sprout seed
                        unless they used heat to reduce the sugar to crystalline form).
                        >
                        > Peace,
                        >
                        > Steve.
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