1 plant Black Goji: 1 year old - current height 15-30 cm
Raised in Swedish climate
Common names: Black Goji, Russian Buckthorn
Scientific name: Lycium ruthenicum Murr.
Plant history & use:
Black Goji is, like the relative Goji ( Lycium barbarum ) , a rich source of proteins and vitamins. The black goji berry is particularly rich in anthocyanins, with a higher content than blueberries. The shrub originates in the areas around the Tibetan Plateau and southern Russia.
It is a plant that has not yet received much attention in the West, but it has long been used by the indigenous people in its natural plant environment. Surprisingly, the indigenous people of small North Indian communities use the berry to make an ointment to prevent blindness in camels. This is possible thanks to the berry's high content of lutein .
The berry gets its deep blue-purple color from the anthocyanins, a substance found in unusually high concentrations in the black goji berry. Anthocyanins are the same substances that color blueberries blue and contribute to many of their beneficial properties.
Ripe berries can be eaten raw, dried or cooked.
The most common way to consume black goji berries is to make a so-called infusion on them. This is best done when they are completely fresh, but it can also be done with dried berries. The Black Goji Berry gives off different colors depending on the type of water used. In the case of mineral-rich water (basic: pH >7) the color becomes deep dark blue and in acidic water (pH <7) the color becomes intense purple.
Black Goji originally grows in very extreme climates where it is exposed to drought, extreme cold, high salinity and nutrient poor soils. These factors have made the black goji berry a very hardy plant. It can grow in temperatures down to -20 ºC.
It is an easy-to-grow shrub that often produces rich harvests. It likes to grow in well-drained soils (often sandy soils) and establishes a strong root system, which makes it a good soil binder, e.g. at beach edges. It can also naturally form a tight wall that protects against the worst wind. Thrives in bright conditions.
The bush grows up to 2 m and can be grown outdoors in open ground in Sweden. To protect your Black Goji bush from the harshest Swedish conditions, in late summer you can cover the base of the plant with straw, leaves or the like. - this protects the plant from the most severe cold and extends the growing season.
The numerous berries range from green to black/bluish purple in color. It is only then that they are ready for harvest. This takes place summer-autumn.
Plant position: sun
Height: 1-2 m
Growing zone: 1-6