Christmas Berry - Lycium carolinianum
Christmas Berry (or Carolina Wolfberry) is the North American cousin to the Chinese Goji berry. It forms a handsome shrub with spiny branches that are erect and spread out. Its leaves are small and succulent, and it bears lavender purple flowers. It is called Christmas Berry because the fruit appears abundantly during the winter. Without the fruit, it looks quite similar to Rosemary; but when winter rolls around, glossy red berries dot the tree, giving the plant its own distinct appearance. The berries resemble small peppers or Goji berries.
Christmas Berry is a member of the nightshade family (Solanaceae) which includes tomatoes and peppers. The berries are edible. There does not appear to be any evidence that the Christmas berry is toxic; however, many members of the Solanaceae family are, so exercise caution just in case, especially toward the leaves and fruit that is not yet fully ripened.
Scientific name: Lycium carolinianum
GROWING CHRISTMAS BERRIES
- Height when mature: 6 feet
- Planting: Plant in full to part sun in areas that are wet but well drained.
- Water: Drought tolerant but will retain leaves all year when watered during dry periods.
- Soil: Keep moist.
- Zones: 7-10