The Schisandra (Shisandra chinensis) vine aka the Magnolia Vine and Five Flavor Fruit Vine, is an elegant deciduous vine native to Northern China. It displays beautiful oval shaped leaves and small white, yellow or red blossoms in late spring followed by a unique and nutrient rich red berry in late summer.
The berries are certainly one of a kind. They are called the Five Flavor Berry for a reason and will take your tastebuds on a wild journey through sweetness, saltiness, bitterness, tanginess and sourness all in one. The berries have also been prized for many centuries for their medicinal value and positive effects regarding immunity and health. Old wisdom says that whichever flavor you taste most in the berry is the flavor you need more of in your diet.
The berries can be dried to be used in teas or made into a delicious flavorful syrup and the fresh berries make for a great conversation starter and can be relished in whichever way you please.
Schisandra Vine Grow Tips:
1. Plant in a location with partial shade. The Schisandra vine grows best in partial shade, especially in hot climates. Planting in an area that receives understory light or next to a wall with an awning are great options. They can still be exposed to full sun, however they will acclimate best in a cooler environment with more shade and protection from the hot afternoon sun.
2. Be aware of pollination requirements. The majority of Schisandra vines are dioecious and need both female and male varieties to cross pollinate for fruit formation. There are however self-fertile varieties that do not require an additional variety for cross-pollination which includes the Eastern Prince.
3. Plant in well draining slightly acidic soil. Schisandra vines can be quite adaptable to a range of soils, however they are not drought tolerant and do best in a rich soil that has steady moisture with good drainage. We recommend adding a layer of compost or an organic balanced fertilizer to the top soil each spring and providing a layer of mulch to help contain moisture.
4. They prefer cooler regions. Since this vine is no stranger to living in colder locations they will thrive best in USDA Hardiness Zones 3-8.
5. Provide adequate support. The vigorous vining habit of the Schisandra will require a trellis, fence, or wall support to keep this plant happy and thriving. We’ve even successfully trained it up a cedar tree here at the nursery!
At OGW we offer a diversity of food plants and their companions from around the world. We offer unique and rare fruit and nut trees, shrubs, and vines. We've been sharing our passion for edible plants and organic gardening since 1994. We are a family owned and operated nursery in Portland Oregon. We ship our seeds & plants to all 50 states. At our retail garden center we offer seasonal fruit tasting, preservation and plant care classes as well as hold events in the community. We support local food sovereignty- grow your own One Green World!