Black Goji Berry (Black Wolfberry)
(Black Wolfberry) This spectacular super food is native throughout Central Asia. The black goji berry is very rarely found in Western cuisine but has long been celebrated in the Himalayan region as a powerful medicinal and health food. The black goji is known to be more healthful and potent than the more widely known red goji, and we find the flavor sweeter. The tasty, inky black berries are exceptionally high in antioxidants and are said to boost the immune system and improve circulation. Thanks to their ability to fight free radicals, they have been hailed as a food to promote healthy, graceful aging. The potent berries create an outstanding blue color when steeped or added to foods. These tasty berries are quickly becoming a popular super fruit added to smoothies and brewed into tea. The dried berries are great in granola and muffins or snacked on alone; you can also eat the berries fresh off the plant. Steep the berries into a beautiful blue tea; adding a few drops of lemon will turn the tea a lovely purple/pink color. Gardeners will be pleased to know this exciting berry is highly prolific and easy to grow! Plants thrive in zones 5-10. It grows as a shrub reaching 4-6 feet in height, and the plants are self fertile. The fruit ripens from summer through early fall.
Scarlet Goji Berry
(Scarlet Wolfberry) Chinese native perennial shrub with slender stems growing up to 6.5-13 feet high if not pruned. From June to September, the shrub is decorated with pale violet, fragrant flowers. The fruit will then appear till the first frost and is rich in vitamins, trace elements, antioxidants, amino acids, and essential fatty acids. This superfruit traditionally has been used to help improve eyesight, inhibit the synthesis of cholesterol, regulate the digestive system, to reduce inflammation, and is said to slow the aging process. Naturally drought tolerant, highly disease and insect resistant, and tolerates temps down to -18 F. The tender fruit appears in two years, and a mature plant can produce almost 7 lbs of berries under good conditions by the third year. Add the fruit to tonic, soups, rice or herbal tea. The tender shoots and leaves are used as a leaf vegetable and are cooked 15 minutes in soup. May interfere with blood thinners and other medications metabolized by the liver.