PNW Landscape Plant Guide

brought to you by the plant geeks at Calendula Farm

Goji Berry (Lycium barbarum) a.k.a. Wolfberry a.k.a. Phoenix Tears

Dried Goji berries have been a trendy superfood health-food over the past several years for good reason. It is a wildly nutritious food with way more vitamin A than carrots and a long list of other antioxidant constituents, vitamins, and minerals. It is native and popular in south China, Korea, and Japan and has been used medicinally for anti-aging properties for millennia. Here is an article from the NIH about Goji Berry – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5758351/

The plants are incredibly easy to grow. They are drought tolerant with deep dense roots. They will grow faster with regular watering. Goji is a shrub for the back corner of a garden or landscape with 6+ foot long whippy stems which fountain out of the base and arch over with tips to the ground. Beautiful small purple flowers open successively along the stems starting in mid summer and turn to ripening bright orangey-red jellybean size berries for a month or two in autumn. You can harvest new berries every day for weeks. Plant near a structure you can use to hold up the stems like you would for raspberries for easier harvesting and tidiness.

We think the best way to enjoy the berries is dried, offering a sweet & pleasant ‘fruitiness’ sort of similar to the flavor profile of dried figs. We keep tasting the fresh berries & find them sweet and flavorful, but with an odd tannic tinge. We prefer them dried, but that’s just us.