Schisandra BerrySchisandra chinensis 20' or taller. Called wu wei zi in Chinese medicine, which translates as ‘five flavors fruit.’
A member of the magnolia family, highly ornamental vines twist and wrap themselves around just about anything you put them near. Small delicate orchid-like flowers appear on young shoots in early spring. Bright red clusters of medicinal berries composed of all five flavors—sweet, sour, salty, bitter and pungent—droop from the elegant vines in September.
Fruit is considered adaptogenic, used to build the immune system and rejuvenate the whole body against stress. Dry berries for tea or make them into a tincture, so delicious it tastes more like cordial.
Generally bears fruit 4–5 years after planting. Optimal fruiting will occur on vines trained horizontally, similar to grapes. Vines have alternate leaves resembling those of hardy kiwi.
Plant in well-drained fertile sandy loam with lots of compost and support for climbing. Prefers dappled shade but likes the morning sun. Difficult to transplant once leafed out. Sunburn or fading on leaves is typical in the first year after transplanting so keep them well-watered until established.
Schisandra is dioecious—having multiple plants is essential for fruit. Native to China. Z4. Maine Grown. (well-rooted transplants)
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