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Home > Alien species in Slovenia > Alien plants > Matrimony vine

Matrimony vine - Goji berry

Lycium barbarum
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Foto: Robert Vidéki, Doronicum Kft
Foto: Jan Samanek, Phytosanitary Administration,
Foto: Jan Samanek, Phytosanitary Administration,



PATHWAYS: horticulture; also cultivated for its edible berries

POSSIBLE TO FIND: year-round


DESCRIPTION: Deciduous shrub with thin, arching branches which bear a few strong thorns, up to 1 cm long. Leaves are narrow lanceolate to elliptic, the widest in the middle. Flowers, single or in groups of up to three, hanging on pedicles. Flowers are narrow tubular, 2 cm across with purple corolla. Fruits are oval, 1–2 cm long, bright orange to red with remnants of calyx at the base.

HABITAT: Riparian forests, ruderal habitats and coastal dunes. 

STATUS: Widely recorded throughout Europe with most observations in Western European countries. Commonly cultivated for its edible fruits, also planted in parks and along roadsides. Locally naturalized in Eastern Slovenia, in Hungary widespread. 

SIMILAR SPECIES: Bittersweet (Solanum dulcamara) has similar red berries with a persistent calyx at its base. Leaves have more pronounced stalks, are broadly lanceolate with cordate leaf base, often with one or two smaller lobes at the stalk. Common barberry (Berberis vulgaris) and Japanese barberry (B. thunbergii) have both red berries but there is no visible remnant of calyx. Fruits of common barberry are borne in hanging clusters.

SOURCE: Field Guide to Invasive Alien Species in European Forests

Risbe: Paul Veenvliet
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