Got A Goji Plant?

Posted on: 04 July 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves

To prevent potato or tomato disease, check your Goji plant isn't Chinese.


Goji berries (Lycium barbarum) are a so-called 'superfood', traditionally grown in the Far East, particularly China. However the import of Goji plants from Asia is prohibited.

Goji plants belong to the solanaceous family, which means they are susceptible to certain quarantine pests and diseases which can affect crops such as potatoes, tomatoes, aubergines and peppers.

As Goji plants are perennials and relatively winter hardy plants, they have the potential to be source of infection for many years. There is also the potential for transmission to naturalised plants nearby which could also act as a source of infection for subsequent years.

The Plant Health and Seeds Inspectorate has become aware of a substantial trade in prohibited Goji plants in the UK. In some cases they are being sold directly from nurseries, but mostly by mail order.

At this stage, no quarantine organisms have been detected in the limited number of plants which have been analysed by Defra's Central Science Laboratory (CSL), but further testing is underway.

Plants of the solanaceous family, including Goji plants are prohibited from being imported to the EU from all countries outside the Euro-Mediterranean area. Imports are permitted from the area comprising Europe, Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia and the area of Turkey east of the Bosphorus Strait known as Anatolia.

If you have an imported Goji plant, check its source with the supplier. If the plant was grown outside the Euro-Mediterranean area, dig it up and put it in the rubbish bin in a sealed plastic bag - don't compost it. Then wash your hands and garden tools.

There is no restriction on the import of the berries themselves or seeds.

Web Links

For more information or to contact your local Plant Health and Seeds Inspector visit: www.defra.gov.uk/planth

Are you growing a Goji plant? You can discuss your gardening triumphs, trials and tribulations in the 50connect forum.

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