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Lycium barbarum

Duke of Argyll's tea tree

L. barbarum is a scrambling deciduous shrub to 3m tall, with sparsely spiny stems bearing narrow, dull green leaves and small dingy purple flowers in late spring and summer, followed by orange-red berries

Other common names
Barbary box thorn
Barbary wolfberry
see moreChinese box thorn
common matrimony vine
Tibetan goji berry
vicar's tea party
European box thorn
Synonyms
Lycium europaeum misapplied
Lycium halimifolium

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Size
Ultimate height
2.5–4 metres
Time to ultimate height
5–10 years
Ultimate spread
1–1.5 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained, Well–drained
pH
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Purple Green
Summer Purple Green
Autumn Green Orange Red
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

West–facing or South–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H5
Botanical details
Family
Solanaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Bushy
Genus

Lycium can be deciduous or evergreen shrubs, sometimes scrambling, with simple entire leaves and small funnel-shaped flowers followed by red berries

Name status

Correct

Plant range
Europe to China

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in moderately fertile, well-drained soil in full sun. Can be grown as a hedge

Propagation

Propagate by seed in containers outdoors in autumn. Take hardwood cuttings in winter or softwood cuttings in early summer

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Coastal
  • Hedging and screens
  • Banks and slopes
  • Flower borders and beds
Pruning

Pruning group 1 or pruning group 11 in winter or early summer. Cut back hedges hard in spring or trim in early summer

Pests

Generally trouble free

Diseases

Can suffer from powdery mildew

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