Eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus), packet of 10 dried berries, organic
Family: Ginseng (Araliaceae)
Hardy to Zones 3 to 7
(Ci-wu-jia, Siberian Ginseng) Woody perennial shrub with ginseng-like leaves and white flowers giving way to the blue-black fruits. Rare in cultivation. Native to North Korea, northern China and Siberia. The plant is self-fertile and the flowers are hermaphroditic. The root and root bark are the parts used. Traditional usage: adaptogen. Source of eleutherosides. The plant will thrive in full sun and moist soil in the north, but prefers shade and moist soil in hotter, more southerly locations. Plant does well growing in standard garden soil or woodland soils. Good drainage is not necessary–they do well with wet feet. Cultivation from seeds: These are dried berries from our own plants here on the farm. In a 10-berry packet you should end up with 60 seeds, more or less. Once removed from the fruit, the seeds require 6 months of warm treatment followed by at least a month of cold treatment, with germination in cold soils. Soak the berries in water overnight and smash them in a tea strainer under the faucet until pure seed is obtained. Put seed in a sealed plastic bag containing moist coir and store indoors (70 degrees F) in warm conditions for 6 months, then move to cold conditions in the refrigerator (40 degrees F), with germination in a month of cold treatment. Check the baggie frequently and remove seeds that are sprouting and pot them up outdoors in cool, moist shade conditions. Alternatively, the natural approach is often most reliable: sow seed in a cool greenhouse or in flats left in the shadehouse, shade garden, or in moist, cool woods. Sowing in flats in the greenhouse is advised, because this gives better control. Keep the flat screened against mice. Use a potting soil that is water-retentive, containing plenty of peat or coir. Plant the seeds 1/2 inch deep and tamp securely. Germination occurs usually within 7 months of sowing, but depending on local conditions may require 2 vernal cycles before germination takes place. Work seedlings up in pots in the cool shade, and transplant once they have sized-up, when their roots fill a gallon pot. Space plants 3 to 10 feet apart.
10 dried berries per packet, open-pollinated, untreated, NO GMO’s