Goji Berry plant / Duke of Argyll Tea Tree, Lycium barbarum: how I grow this superfood in the UK

Goji Berry plant / Duke of Argyll Tea Tree, Lycium barbarum: how I grow this superfood in the UK

Lycium barbarum is a plant native in China but cultivated in many other countries including the UK, and known by a variety of vernacular names, of which the most common is Goji Berry Plant or Boxthorn or Wolfberry plant, both names shared with another species from the same genus, Lycium chinense. Lycium barbarum is also known in the UK as Duke of Argyll Tea Tree, because it was introduced by Archibald Campbell in the UK around 1730 and the leaves of this plant can be used as a tea substitute. This plant is also used for hedging, but the most important use of this plant is definitely as food crop. The fruit is a bright orange – red Berry, about 1-2 cm in diameter, and is extremely rich in vitamins A, C and E, as well as antioxidants, flavonoids and other compounds that have been shown beneficial for a variety of purposes, including stimulating the immune system and for anti-ageing effects. Lycium barbarum is a very adaptable plant, can be grown in a variety of soils (clay, loamy, sandy) with different pH (acidic, neutral or alkaline/basic), however it will perform at its best in well drained, moist soil. Ideal exposure of this plant is full sun or at least partial shade, even if it will grow, and still produce some fruits, as you cm see in this video, in full light shade. Lycium barbarum is a plant hardy down to minus 15 degrees Celsius, with most varieties hardy between zone 5 and 9 but there is one variety, called Phoenix Tears, hardy between USDA zones 3 and 10, therefore this plant is definitely hardy throughout the most of the UK.
Great sources of information about this species are and
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