Wolfberries



Wolfberry, more known as goji berry or Chinese wolfberry, is the common name for the fruit of the two species of boxthorn plant in the genus Lycium, Lycium barbarum and Lycium chinense.

Wolfberry species are deciduous woody perennial plants, growing to 1-3 m tall. The leaves are borne on the shoot, with shape that is lanceolate or ovate, 7 cm long and 3.5 cm broad, arranged alternately or in bundles of up to three. The flowers are lavender or light purple, 9-14 mm in diameter, with flowering occurs in June through September and berry maturation happens from August to October, depending on altitude, latitude, and climate.

Wolfberry is a bright orange-red, ellipsoid berry 1-2 cm long. Each berry can have 10-60 yellow seeds that are compressed with a curved embryo, with berries ripening from July to October in the Northern Hemisphere. When ripe, the oblong, red berries are tender and must be picked with care or shaken from the vine into trays to avoid spoiling. The berries are preserved by drying them in the sun on open trays or by dehydration process of heat exposure for over 48 hours.

Woldberries are normally sold in dried form, with different amount of dessication. Some are soft and tacky in the manner of raisins, while others may be very hard. When used in cuisine, woldberry is normally cooked before consumption. It is often added to rice porridge or almond jelly, as well as in Chinese tonic soups. The dried berries can also be boiled as an herbal tea. Wines can also be produced using woldberries, by blending grape wine and wofberries.

Wolfberries contain many nutrients and phytochemicals including essential and trace dietary minerals, amino acids, vitamins, polysaccharides and monosaccharides.

WolfberriesWolfberries
Author: Paul144 (public domain)

WolfberriesWolfberries
Author: Paul144 (public domain)

Wolfberries farmWolfberries farm
Author: Paul144 (public domain)

Dried WolfberriesDried Wolfberries
Author: Lamiot (public domain)

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