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Botanical Name: Lycium barbarum
Harvest: Mid-Summer through first frost.
Bush Habit: Unpruned it grows to between 10 and 13 feet tall with a spread of 4 feet. It has upright sprouts with long lateral branches with a weeping habit.
Fruit: Red to red-orange berries.
Facts of note: Goji berries are easy to grow, container adaptable and drought tolerant. They do require alkaline soil with a pH between 6.8 and 8.1. They also do not appreciate high doses of nitrogen. The Phoenix Tears variety was discovered in 2004 on a ranch in western Utah near the historic site of a transcontinental railroad camp where primarily Chinese workers resided. The mother plant is thought to be a chance seedling planted by accident back in the days of the transcontinental railroad construction. Phoenix Tears is a productive, almost thornless variety of goji berry.
For centuries the Chinese have used parts of the entire goji plant for food or medicine. Use of stems and leaves is little known in the United States, but the highest concentrations of healthful antioxidants can be found in the leaves . Fruit in the health food market in the form of dried berries and juice is more familiar.
For successful growth, is critical that the soil PH remain at 6.8 or higher. High nitrogen is not recommended for these plants.