Wolfberry Identification
Answered by: Zhongfa Wu
Question from: Ann Langham
Posted on: March 03, 2007

I think I have a Wolfberry shrub, it resembles all the pictures I have seen, I have a concern that in the Richter’s Q&A they say the fruit is grape sized, mine are quite a bit smaller than that. Orange/red and oval. My question is - how do I identify it 100%, from all I read these shrubs are very valuable medicinally and I would like to dry some fruit for our use. I don’t want to poison myself though!! Would the seeds be any help in identifying it? I still have some dried ones on the shrub right now (Jan 15/2007).

Chinese Wolfberry is a wild bush found in the north west of China. Because of its nutrient and medicinal value, Chinese people have been growing this magic herb for hundreds of years.

Without a doubt, it is one of the most popular Chinese herbs in the West recently. Unfortunately, people are not able to identify this herb correctly. I notice that people are confusion on the plant description, especially on the fruit. I would like to give you the dried fruit description as follow: shape oval, length 0.8-2cm, diameter 0.5-1cm; bright red or dark red; white trace on one of the ends, another with a trace of the bump of a stigma; skin of the fruit is flexile, wrinkly; fruit meat is thick and juicy. Contained several seeds, yellow in colour, and flat like a kidney. It has a slight trace of odour, its taste is sweet with a hint of sour. After chewing the saliva is reddish yellow.

I suggest that you order Chinese Wolfberry from Richters to be guaranteed to get the right one and you don’t use the fruit you own if you are not sure yours is the right one.

Back to Chinese Herbs and Their Uses | Q & A Index

Copyright © 1997-2014 Otto Richter and Sons Limited. All rights reserved.