Red Goji Berry (Lycium barbarum)
The Red Goji Berry, once unobtainable in the United States, is a plant that bears highly nutritious fruit. This vitamin-rich, immune-boosting superfruit is full of antioxidants. It’s what high-profile celebrities might have a guy on speed dial for. In reality, although the harvested fruit can be hard to find, Lycium barbarum is actually commonly found growing throughout the United States, where it has been naturalized from its original habitats in Southeast Europe and Southwest Asia.
As a member of the Solanacea (nightshade) family, its cultivation needs are nearly identical to eggplants, tomatoes, and the like. Once the plant blooms in the late spring to early summer, it will bear branches of coveted ruby-red fruits, which will ripen by mid-summer. Harvest the berries at the peak point of maturation, because they may quickly spoil if left unattended to bruise and rot. Eat Goji Berries fresh, or dry them like raisins and enjoy them in cereals, yogurt, trail mix, tea, and more.