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goumi, gomi, goji, wolf berry, lycii ?  RSS feed

 
gardener
Posts: 1884
Location: Grand Valley of Colorado's Western Slope
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I love the goji berries I buy, and wanted to plant some shrubs. Various places on line I've read that these are all names for the same thing.

Lycium barbarum (tomato family), Elaeagnus multiflora (same genus as russian olive, and a nitrogen fixer) are both listed as the source of the wonderful fruit. Then there are nurseries that offer goji berries without identifying the genus and species.

Can anyone sort these out? I'd sure love to know without having to buy and grow them all.

 
Posts: 1650
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even distribution
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goji berry = tomato family
 
steward
Posts: 8019
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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Goji berries are listed by JL Hudsons.
He offers the traditional Chinese variety, and one native to the American SW deserts.

—Lycium chinense. (100) LYCI-12. Packet: $2.50
Oz: $14.00
'CHINESE WOLFBERRY', 'KUKO', 'KO-CHI'. Purple half-inch flowers June to September,
followed by attractive scarlet 1/2 - 1" long berries, August to October. Graceful
arching shrub to 12 feet, with bright green 1 1/2 - 3" oval leaves. E. Asia. Hardy
in the North, Zone 5, and "It is a splendid sight in autumn gardens, when its
slender branches are laden with scarlet berries."—Yashiroda. These branches are
much valued in Japanese flower-arranging. Germinates in 1 - 4 weeks.
The young leaves are eaten in salads or boiled with rice as flavoring, and are
also drunk as tea. The berries are eaten and a medicinal wine is made from them.
Leaves, root and fruit are all highly valued in Chinese medicine, as "prolonging
life, improving the complexion and brightening the eye."—Pen Ts'ao.

—Lycium exsertum. (100) LYCI-22. Packet: $2.50
'WOLFBERRY'. Profuse small lavender flowers followed by abundant bright red edible
berries. Spiny shrub to 3 - 6 feet. Low deserts, Arizona and México. Very drought
resistant. The berries were eaten in great quantities by the Indians, fresh, cooked,
or dried like raisins. Good wildlife shrub.
Germinates in 2 - 6 weeks, light and GA-3 help.

 
Thekla McDaniels
gardener
Posts: 1884
Location: Grand Valley of Colorado's Western Slope
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thank you
 
pollinator
Posts: 598
Location: Victoria BC
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They're definitely not all the same thing; I think the previous posters have correctly IDed the one you want. Lycii berry looks to be a synonym, or nearly... but don't mix it up with Lychee!

Elaeagnus Multiflora is Goumi in my area; I think Gomi as well as Gumi are just common misspellings. Also called 'cherry silverberry' apparently. As noted, nitrogen fixing; great permaculture plant, commonly used in my region. Don't know how it handles very dry conditions. I like it better than Goji, but neither are super high on my list of tasty things.
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Location: Grand Valley of Colorado's Western Slope
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Maybe I'll grow both. I'm thinking if I can't fiind goji berry plants, I could try germinating the seeds in the ones I buy. They are the chinese ones and I like their flavor. I appreciate everyone's help and once I saw the post goji= tomato family it made a lot of sense to me. Lycopene being one of the pigments in tomatoes, and one the pigments/compounds that make goji berries so good for us. and lyc being a rather unusual word root.
 
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