Russian Box Thorn

Lycium ruthenicum

Family: Solanaceae (so-lan-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Lycium (LY-see-um) (Info)
Species: ruthenicum (ru-THEN-ih-kum) (Info)

Category:

Edible Fruits and Nuts

Vegetables

Shrubs

Cactus and Succulents

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade

Foliage:

Herbaceous

Smooth

Foliage Color:

Bronze

Orange/Apricot

Height:

under 6 in. (15 cm)

6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

Spacing:

Unknown - Tell us

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone

Danger:

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:

Light Blue

Lavender

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Non-patented

Propagation Methods:

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us

Regional

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Birmingham, Alabama

Florence, Arizona

Queen Creek, Arizona

Gardeners' Notes:

2
positives
1
neutral
0
negatives
RatingContent
Neutral

On Nov 24, 2016, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

The fruit is an important traditional medicinal herb in the cultures of central Asia. It's high in vitamins (especially A, C, and E), minerals, essential fatty acids, flavonoids, and anthocyanins, and it's being explored as a nutriceutical for sale in western markets. It should only be eaten when fully ripe.

The fruits are small, and their dimensions are not mentioned by those promoting this new fruit. Said to be tasty, and a few will color a glass of water a vivid purple/blue.

This spiny deciduous shrub requires full sun and well-drained soil. An easy and adaptable plant, it tolerates drought, salt, impoverished soil, and wind, including maritime exposure. Adaptable as to soil pH.

From its native range (the cold, high-elevation deserts of centr... read more

Positive

On Nov 24, 2016, janelp_lee from Toronto, ON (Zone 6a) wrote:

Black Gojiberry (Lycium ruthenicum Murr.) is very cold hardy shrub. Its dark berries is popular in Asia now. Easy to grow from seeds which you can get some seeds each berry from purchased dried berries. -- It is the cheapest way to get seeds!

Positive

On Sep 30, 2016, malsprower from Daytona, FL wrote:

I am surprised more people aren't growing this!!! I ordered my seeds from their origin on ebay and started growing this indoors, the plant is extremely prone to fungus when they sprout but when they grow, they really take off, seems to enjoy being a houseplant for now. I live in Florida so I won't risk bringing this one out there. I plan to take some cuttings when this plant grows large enough and try them outside. I will update whether or not this plant likes Florida. It seems to really grow vigorously indoors in a south west facing window!

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