Schisandra BerrySchisandra chinensis 20' or taller. Called wu wei zi in Chinese medicine, which translates as ‘five flavor fruit.’
A member of the magnolia family, ornamental vines twist and wrap themselves around just about anything nearby. Small subtle male and female orchid-like flowers appear in early spring. Bright red clusters of medicinal berries composed of sweet, sour, salty, bitter and pungent flavors, droop from the vines in September.
Fruit is considered adaptogenic, used to build the immune system and rejuvenate against stress. Dry berries for tea or make them into a delicious tincture.
Generally bears fruit 4–5 years after planting. Optimal fruiting will occur on vines trained horizontally, similar to grapes. Vines have alternate leaves and resemble those of hardy kiwi.
Plant in well-drained fertile sandy loam with lots of compost. Needs strong support for climbing. Prefers dappled shade with some morning sun. Sensitive to transplanting and sometimes loses leaves before budding out again or sprouting from roots later in summer. Sunburn or faded leaves is typical in the first year.
While recent research shows the vine is monoecious, rather than dioecious as previously thought, we still recommend planting multiples for best pollination. Native to China. Z4. Maine Grown. (well-rooted transplants)
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