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Uses

Toxic parts

Although no records of toxicity have been seen, some caution should be exercised with this species, particularly with regard to its edible leaves, since it belongs to a family that often contains toxins. However, use of the leaves is well documented and fairly widespread in some areas. The unripe fruit might also be suspect though the ripe fruit is wholesome.

Edible uses

Notes

Fruit - raw or cooked[1][2][3]. The fruit is a berry about 2cm in diameter[4][5]. A mild sweet liquorice flavour[5]. Only the fully ripe fruits should be eaten[K].

Young shoots - cooked[1][6][7][2]. Used mainly as a flavouring, they can also be lightly cooked for 3 - 4 minutes and used as a vegetable, the flavour is somewhat cress-like but has also been described as peppermint-like[5]. The leaves wilt rapidly once they have been harvested[5]. Some caution is advised, see notes at top of the page.

The leaves are a tea substitute[8].

Fruit

Leaves

Unknown part

Tea

Material uses

Can be grown as an informal hedge, succeeding in maritime exposure[9][4]. Plants have an extensive root system and can be planted to stabilize sandy banks[4][5].
There are no material uses listed for Lycium barbarum.

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

A sweet tonic decoction made from the fruits is used to lower blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels[10]. It acts mainly on the liver and kidneys[11][12][10]. The fruit is taken internally in the treatment of high blood pressure, diabetes, poor eyesight, vertigo, lumbago, impotence and menopausal complaints[10]. The fruit is harvested when fully ripe and is dried for later use[10].

The root bark is a bitter, cooling, antibacterial herb that controls coughs and lowers fevers, blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels[11][12][10]. It is taken internally in the treatment of chronic fevers, internal haemorrhages, nosebleeds, tuberculosis, coughs, asthma etc[10]. It is applied externally to treat genital itching[10]. The bark is harvested in the winter and dried for later use[10]. Diuretic, purgative, [11][12]. The plant has a long history of medicinal use, both as a general, energy restoring tonic and also to cure a wide range of ailments from skin rashes and eyesight problems to diabetes[5]. A tonic tea is made from the leaves[5].

The fruit of many members of this genus is a very rich source of vitamins and minerals, especially in vitamins A, C and E, flavanoids and other bio-active compounds. It is also a fairly good source of essential fatty acids, which is fairly unusual for a fruit. It is being investigated as a food that is capable of reducing the incidence of cancer and also as a means of halting or reversing the growth of cancers[13].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Hedge


Earth stabiliser

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - sow early spring in a greenhouse. Germination is usually good and fairly quick. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer. Pinch out the shoot tips of the young plants in order to encourage bushy growth[14].

Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5 - 10cm with a heel if possible, July/August in individual pots in a frame. Good percentage[14]. Cuttings of mature wood of the current season's growth, autumn to late winter in a cold frame. High percentage[14][4]. Division of suckers in late winter. Very easy, the suckers can be planted out direct into their permanent positions.

Layering.

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Lycium barbarum. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

An easily grown plant, it does not require a rich soil, flowering and fruiting better in a well-drained soil of moderate quality[15][4]. Succeeds in impoverished soils[4], but more fertile soils are best if the plant is being grown for its edible young shoots[5]. Requires a sunny position[4]. Some plants at Kew are growing well in light shade[K]. Tolerates maritime exposure[16][17][4].

Plants are hardy to about -15°c[18]. There are some named varieties, selected for their ornamental value[5]. Plants are very tolerant of pruning and can regrow from old wood[18]. Any trimming is best carried out in the spring[19]. Plants produce suckers freely and can become invasive when in a suitable position. Otherwise they can be difficult to establish[18].

There is much confusion over the naming of this species. Most, if not all, of the plants being grown as L. chinense or L. europaeum are in fact this species[16].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Lycium barbarum. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Lycium barbarum.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Lycium barbarum
Genus
Lycium
Family
Solanaceae
Imported References
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
7
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
light shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
  • Strong wind
  • Maritime exposure
Ecosystems
Native Climate Zones
None listed.
Adapted Climate Zones
None listed.
Native Geographical Range
None listed.
Native Environment
None listed.
Ecosystem Niche
None listed.
Root Zone Tendancy
None listed.
Life
Deciduous or Evergreen
Herbaceous or Woody
Life Cycle
Growth Rate
Mature Size
Fertility
?
Pollinators
Flower Colour
?
Flower Type

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"image:Lycium barbarum.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

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References

  1. ? 1.01.11.2 Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World. Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-20459-6 (1972-00-00)
  2. ? 2.02.12.2 Tanaka. T. Tanaka's Cyclopaedia of Edible Plants of the World. Keigaku Publishing (1976-00-00)
  3. ? 3.03.1 Gamble. J. S. A Manual of Indian Timbers. Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal Singh (1972-00-00)
  4. ? 4.004.014.024.034.044.054.064.074.084.094.10 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
  5. ? 5.005.015.025.035.045.055.065.075.085.095.105.11 Larkcom J. Oriental Vegetables John Murray ISBN 0-7195-4781-4 (1991-00-00)
  6. ? 6.06.1 Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
  7. ? 7.07.1 Harrington. H. D. Edible Native Plants of the Rocky Mountains. University of New Mexico Press ISBN 0-8623-0343-9 (1967-00-00)
  8. ? 8.08.1 Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
  9. ? 9.09.1 Thurston. Trees and Shrubs in Cornwall. ()
  10. ? 10.010.110.210.310.410.510.610.710.8 Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (1995-00-00)
  11. ? 11.011.111.211.3 Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (1974-00-00)
  12. ? 12.012.112.212.3 Yeung. Him-Che. Handbook of Chinese Herbs and Formulas. Institute of Chinese Medicine, Los Angeles (1985-00-00)
  13. ? 13.013.1 Matthews. V. The New Plantsman. Volume 1, 1994. Royal Horticultural Society ISBN 1352-4186 (1994-00-00)
  14. ? 14.014.114.2 Sheat. W. G. Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers. MacMillan and Co (1948-00-00)
  15. ? F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
  16. ? 16.016.116.2 Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement. Murray (1981-00-00)
  17. ? Arnold-Forster. Shrubs for the Milder Counties. ()
  18. ? 18.018.118.2 Davis. B. Climbers and Wall Shrubs. Viking. ISBN 0-670-82929-3 (1990-00-00)
  19. ? Brickell. C. The RHS Gardener's Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers Dorling Kindersley Publishers Ltd. ISBN 0-86318-386-7 (1990-00-00)

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"image:Lycium barbarum.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

Facts about "Lycium barbarum"RDF feed
Article is incompleteYes +
Article requires citationsNo +
Article requires cleanupYes +
Belongs to familySolanaceae +
Belongs to genusLycium +
Functions asHedge + and Earth stabiliser +
Has binomial nameLycium barbarum +
Has common nameBox Thorn +
Has drought toleranceIntolerant +
Has edible partFruit +, Leaves + and Unknown part +
Has edible useUnknown use + and Tea +
Has environmental toleranceMaritime exposure + and High wind +
Has fertility typeBees +
Has flowers of typeHermaphrodite +
Has growth rateModerate +
Has hardiness zone7 +
Has imageLycium barbarum.jpg +
Has lifecycle typePerennial +
Has mature height2.5 +
Has mature width4 +
Has medicinal partUnknown part +
Has medicinal useAntibacterial +, Anticholesterolemic +, Antipyretic +, Cancer +, Diuretic +, Hypoglycaemic +, Ophthalmic +, Purgative +, Skin +, Tonic + and Vasodilator +
Has primary imageLycium barbarum.jpg +
Has search namelycium barbarum + and box thorn +
Has shade toleranceLight shade +
Has soil ph preferenceAcid +, Neutral + and Alkaline +
Has soil texture preferenceSandy +, Loamy + and Clay +
Has soil water retention preferenceWell drained +
Has sun preferenceFull sun +
Has taxonomic rankSpecies +
Has taxonomy nameLycium barbarum +
Has water requirementsmoderate +
Is deciduous or evergreenDeciduous +
Is herbaceous or woodyWoody +
Is taxonomy typeSpecies +
PFAF cultivation notes migratedNo +
PFAF edible use notes migratedNo +
PFAF material use notes migratedNo +
PFAF medicinal use notes migratedNo +
PFAF propagation notes migratedNo +
PFAF toxicity notes migratedNo +
Tolerates maritime exposureYes +
Tolerates nutritionally poor soilNo +
Tolerates windYes +
Uses mature size measurement unitMeters +
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