Syn. Kadsura chinensis
Syn. Maximowiczia chinensis
Native Region: China
Zone Range: 4-10
Preferred Climate: Full to semi sun; well draining relatively fertlile deep soil.
Harvest Date: Thursday 29 October, 2009
Seed count: 25-30
A gendered species where, in May-June, tiny white sweetly fragrant flowers adorn the vines on both sexes. On female plants dense grape like clusters of berries ripen from green to brilliant red edible morsels that are used in traditional Chinese Medicine as an 'adaptogen'. Lustrous leaves and graceful woody vining form makes this also a highly ornamental for landscape. Tolerates shade, but needs evenly moist fertile soil. Vigorous as it can grow 1 meter or more a year maxing out to 10 meters in every direction. Plants need a sturdy arbour, trellis, or fence or what have you.
You need both male and female to produce fruit. One of the top 50 plants used in TCM. Its name, "wu wei zi" translates to 'five flavour fruit' for the sweet, salty, sour, hot and bitter combined flavours of the red little morsels which are much loved by wildlife, so you gotta be out there to beat them to it. Can self sow.
Soak seed 24 hours then sow 5 mm deep in well draining medium. Cold stratify 60-90 days. Germinate at 18-20C. Should emerge in 30-45 days. Protect from nibblers. Alternately, can be cold stratified and given germination conditions in a resealable baggie. Prick out seedlings to grow out.