Characteristics of goji berries

What are goji berries?


Common English Name (fruit): Goji berries, wolf berries matrimony vine, Duke of Argyll tea tree.

Without reference to its true origin: Tibetan goji and Himalayan goji.

Its common name comes from the Chinese word “Gouqizi”. “Zi” means “berry” or “seed” in Mandarin Chinese.


A drawing of the plant

Common name in other languages:

Spanish – Castellano: Bayas de Goji, cambronera, cambros, espino cambrón, vid del matrimonio, árbol de te del duque de Argyll, bayas del Himalaya, bayas del Tíbet

Catalan – Català: Arç negre o arn negre

Galician – Galego : Cambroeira chinesa

Basque – Euskara: …

French – Français: Lyciet commun, lyciet de Barbarie

Portuguese – Português: Goji

Romanian – Română: Cătina de garduri

Italian – Italiano: Goji

German – Deutsch: Gemeine Bocksdorn

Dutch – Nederlands: Boksdoorn

Danish – Danks: Almindelig bukketorn

Norwegian – Norks: Bukketorn

Swedish – Svenska: Bocktörne

Finish – Suomi : Pukinpensas

Lithuanian – lietuvių: Dygliuotasis ožerškis

Polish – Polski: Kolcowój pospolity, kolcowój szkarlatny

Hungarian – magyar: közönséges ördögcérna

Serbian – српски / srpski: Гоџи

Czech – čeština: Kustovnice cizí

Slovenian – slovenčina: Navadna kustovnica

Turkish – Türkçe: Atlangaç

Russian – Русский: Дереза́ обыкнове́нная

Botanical name: Lycium barbarum L. Its scientific name Lycium comes from the Latin “Lykia” or Lycia, an ancient region of Asia Minor, and barbarum means foreign. “Foreign Lycia.”

Family: Solanaceae

Habitat. Were to find goji?

The goji shrub is a plant native to the valleys of the Himalayas. It can grow up to 4000 meters, and from it has extended throughout Tibet, China, Mongolia, Korea and Japan.

Description of goji

Goji is a perennial shrub up to 5 meters high in the wild, but cultivated plants do not generally exceed 2 meters.

Its branches are grayish.

Its leaves, oblong-lanceolate, alternate and simple; with a maximum length of 7 cm long and 3.5 cm wide.

Flowers, which grow in the axils, are at the end of 1 to 2 cm long stems. They appear alone or in inflorescences of small groups (maximum three). The calyx consists of four short sepals. The corolla shows lavender or purple color, and it consists of 5 petals forming a bell-shaped structure. The stamens remain welded to it.

Pollination is usually entomophilous or by birds, because of the presence of a intraestaminal nectar disc.

In the northern hemisphere, flowering occurs from June to September and the maturation of its fruits (berries) takes place from August to October, always depending on latitude, altitude and climate of the area.

Its fleshy fruit is an indehiscent berry (it does not open to release their seeds). The mature berries, with an ellipsoid shape and with the size like a raisin, have bright colors ranging from orange, red, yellow and black. They can reach a size between 1 and 3 cm long.

The seeds are inside the berries. they are small and yellow, and, depending on the species, their number can range between 10 and 60.

Composition of Goji Berries

  • Carbohydrates: 65% of the Goji berry is made up of carbohydrates. Its components are polysaccharides and monosaccharides: arabinose, glucose, galactose, rhamnose, mannose, xylose and / or galacturonic acid.
  • Fats: they account for 10% of the composition of the berry, containing essential fatty acids, mainly linoleic acid.
  • Protein: is about 15% of the berry. The Goji berry contains 18 amino acids, of which 8 are essential amino acids.
  • Fiber: high. Reaches almost 10% of the composition of the berry.
  • Minerals: iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc.
  • Trace elements: mercury, manganese.
  • Vitamins: carotenes (lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin), vitamin C, B vitamins: thiamine (vitamin B1) and riboflavin (B2).

Nutritional composition table of goji berries

Below, there is a table with the composition of dried Goji berries per 100g of food:

Main components of dry goji berries per 100g
from which saturated0,67g
from which polyunsaturated1,1g
from which monounsaturated0,47g
Vitamin A42-148g
Vitamin a C118mg*
Vitamin a B1 or thiamin0,15mg
Vitamin a B2 or riboflavin1,30mg
* According to culture medium

punto rojo More information on goji berries.

This article was endorsed by Elisenda Carballido - Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

17 May, 2021

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