Goji Berry Plant (Lycium barbarum) is also known as Duke of Argyll's tea tree, Chinese Wolfberry, Matrimony Vine and many more common names in many languages.
The plant we specialize in, Lycium barbarum L, was brought from China in 1949 via Guangdong Province, where the family lived, via Macaua, Hong Kong, Canada and ended up in Southwest Missouri where the family finally settled.
The fresh edible foliage is usually more important than the berries throughout Asia, but the berries are an extra benefit and are packed with vitamins and antioxidants. They are the same berries sold in health food stores.
The foliage of "Botany Goji" is or can be more important than the berries. The leaf is eaten more than the berries throughout most of Asia. The leaf is a high tonnage yield plant and many Asian homes have the plant growing for the leaves only. It is cooked in soups and stews and is a main healthy vegetable. It is sold in stores and vegetable stands as a bundle of 10-12 inch long fresh leaves on the stem.
For commercial production of leaves the young leafy stems are usually cut, giving a hedge like appearance to the plant rows. These hedges or individual plants are cut many times throughout the season with high tonnage yield of soft fresh leaves.
For an excellent botanical description of the species we sell go to the following link: Lycium barbarum, Montana. Our variety will grow from mid-Florida to at least parts of Montana.In the mid 1860,s, the contract Chinese railroad and mining workers had their own cooks who also brought and grew the foliage to feed their co-workers while they lived and worked building the first trans-continental railroad, and worked in the gold, silver, and coal mines. The wide oval
leaf "Botany Goji" is the same species that is naturalized throughout Wyoming, Montana, Utah and all the western states, where the Chinese worked and lived.
"Botany Goji": Basic Information and Traditional Uses
Goji is a 6-8 feet tall bush. From summer to the first heavy frosts the bush is covered by purple and white (on the same plant) trumpet-shaped flowers, which turn into small bright red berries.
Although Goji plant can grow in almost any type of soil, it prefers well drained soils of moderate to good quality.
The fresh or dried berries are praised most often, but other parts of the plant can also be used in medicine or as a vegetable (the young shoots and new leaves are usually cooked).