Big Lifeberry® has been called a superfruit because it so rich in health benefits. Nearly 13% protein, it is also very high in vitamin C, and is a powerful antioxidant. Eaten fresh from the vine or dried and then cooked, it has a pleasant, tomato-influenced tart flavor and herbal scent. The berries themselves are oblong (rather like olives) and orange-red, beginning green and then ripening and remaining on the plant from midsummer all the way to frost.
Native to the Himalayas, Big Lifeberry® is a quick-growing vining shrub that may take a season to establish in your garden. But once it makes itself at home, expect it to put on 4 to 5 feet of growth a year! With this in mind, you may want to prune it down to bush form, and then give it an annual late-winter "haircut." Or, if you prefer, shape it into a small single-stemmed tree. If this is too much bother, let it vine! Very versatile, it flowers and fruits generously in any form, but does much better with an annual pruning.
The flowers appear in early summer, white and lavender. They remain for a few weeks, soon replaced by masses and masses of berries. This plant is rather spiny, which discourages nibbling pests from eating the fruit. It should also discourage you from touching the green berries, which may blacken if they are handled!
Expect this shrub to reach 8 to 10 feet in a single season, or prune it smaller. It needs plenty of sunshine, but tolerates a bit of shade in warm climates. Good soil drainage is essential too. Other than this, Big Lifeberry® is quite carefree, ready to bloom and flower for many years to come! It is self-fertile, so you need plant only one. Zones 5-9.