Lycium barbarum is a shrub that belongs to the Solanaceae family (to which chilli, tomato, potato, eggplant also belong), widespread in Europe and Asia. Two different species belong to the genus lycium, the barbarum and the chinense, even if the barbarum produces berries that are richer in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Lycium barbarum has narrow leaves, acute both at the apex and at the base. The corolla has ciliated margins, while the lobes fold themselves, but without reaching the base of the glass. The fruit of the barbarum has a sweet taste, with a juicy pulp and a color between orange and red. Lycium barbarum is indicated against fatigue, to combat immune weakness, as a depurative, against hypertension and for high cholesterol.

Lycium barbarum berries

Lycium barbarum flowers Lycium barbarum is a plant that resists drought very well, prefers a type of soil that has a high pH between 6.8 and 8. In case of unsuitable soil, it is possible to correct the acidity by adding calcium carbonate to increase the pH, or by adding iron sulfate or sulfur to lower it. The exposure must be particularly sunny and a good availability of soil is needed to allow the plants to grow properly, in fact reaching 3 meters in height in some cases. The leaves have an emerald green color, with falling branches. Being a plant that also develops in width, it certainly needs systematic pruning to contain its expansion. During the growing season, the correct supply of nitrogen is important.

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Lycium barbarum berries Flowering occurs in early summer, while the berries ripen in the months between July and November. At the end of autumn, when the first colds begin, the plant will enter the vegetative rest and lose its foliage. The plant does not need a lot of care, because it is quite resistant, so any pests or diseases should be taken into consideration. The first infructescences are produced in the third year of the plant’s life, but subsequently, with adequate pruning, the berries could be produced in greater quantities. The methodology to be followed to produce the new seedlings with sowing, but in this case it could only take place after an adequate period of permanence in a seedbed, so that the seeds germinate optimally.

Lycium barbarum dried berries In order for the seeds to germinate properly, the seedbed must be kept in a warm place, with optimal lighting and periodically watered with hot water. The plants can be grown in pots, although it must be taken into account that the roots will not be able to grow completely, as the space is limited. After the seeds have germinated, before being transplanted, it would be advisable to let them soak in water at room temperature. The planting pot must have adequate drainage, sand and universal soil should be mixed. Pruning usually takes place in winter, although it can be done in any period to contain its development. The lower lateral shoots must be cut, in order to strengthen the trunk.

Source: www.giardinaggio.it

Lycium barbarum – Garden Plants

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