Chinese Wolfberry
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Eugene Babinat
Posted on: January 14, 1999

Recently I ran across an excellent article on the the Chinese wolfberry grown in Paraguay to prolong life and combat illnesses. I ran across your reply to Robert and Jean Drysdale from the Richters web-site.

I live in southeast Texas, USA, will this plant grow here?

The plant is hardy in zones 5 to 9 and will therefore grow anywhere in Texas. Since you seem to be in zone 9 you are at the southernmost area of its range and the plant will need a cool location to survive the summers.

I believe the fruit bears 1 or 2 seeds per berry. Is this right?

I have eaten a few berries and from my experience the above statement appears to be true.

What is the normal size of this fruit?

It is the size of a grape.

What kind of soil does this plant grow best in?

It does best in well-drained, moist, alkaline soil.

What would be a good book on this plant, telling you how to raise it?

Its culture is covered in the book "Encyclopedia of Herbs and their Uses". by Deni Bown (Richters catalog #B2730).

I heard there were 10 different varieties of this plant ?

Since the plant has been in cultivation for a very long time in China, it is not surprising that several selections have been made from the wild species representing desirable characteristics such as large fruit, tidier growth habit, floriferousness, etc.

I wanted to get the species that the Indians use in Paraguay. Is this the one that Richters sells?

There are two species naturalized in the eastern USA. They are Lycium chinense and L. halimifolium. We are offering L. barbarum. These three species are all very similar, but I don’t know if one of them is the one that is naturalized in Paraguay.

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