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Lindsay's Flora Blog - 21st May

Posted: Thursday 21st May 2020 by trustadmin

Duke of Argyll’s Teaplant Lycium barbarum

I’ve included this plant because it’s history is quite amusing. Originating from China it was named after the 3rd Duke of Argyll who imported large numbers of exotic plants and trees for his estate. It was incorrectly labelled Thea (Tea) and apparently he planted it as such!

Belonging to the same family as potatoes, tomatoes and nightshades, this sprawling untidily bushy and slightly spiny deciduous shrub has become naturalised, particularly in southern Britain, and is common around Alderney’s coastlines. It has small purple trumpet shaped flowers which become fawn as they die off.

Although in the nightshade family, the small orangey-red oval berries, once dried, are apparently perfectly safe to eat. They have become quite popular and are collected, dried and sold commercially as Goji berries.

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