Black Goji Berry (Lycium ruthenicum) also called Black Wolfberry originates in the Himalayan Mountains in Central Asia where it is revered for its health benefits. The fruit is eaten fresh, dried or made into a tea. Just a few dried fruits added to tea water will turn it vivid purple.
Black Goji fruit contains vitamins A, C and E, and includes essential fatty acids which are unusual in fruits. They also have large amounts of proanthocyanidins, a powerful antioxidant that removes free radicals from cells similar to cranberries or grape seeds.
Black goji is a shrub that reaches 4-6’ tall. The leaves are light gray to greenish and fleshy. The self fertile flowers will appear in the second year after planting and bear fruit that ripen in late summer and early fall.
Propagation: Seed – sow early spring in a greenhouse . Germination is usually good and fairly quick. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. Plant out in late spring or early summer.
Pinch out the shoot tips of the young plants in order to encourage bushy growth. This plant produces a very extensive root system, which is drought & salt tolerant, can be used for erosion control.
Traditional Medicinal Uses: It’s ripe fruits have been used for treatment of heart disease, abnormal menstruation & menopause. The plant is used as an ointment to treat blindness in camels.