Schisandra Chinensis – Magnolia Vine.
The Magnolia vine, as it is commonly called is a strong-growing climber that is native to Japan and Korea, although it is widely grown in both China and Russia commercially for the production of its berries that are used as juice and that are also used in various medicinal type products. It is not only the berries that can be harvested as it is said that the young leaves are also edible when cooked and the leaves and bark are all used medicinally. The Chinese name for the plant,
means “Five Flavour Berry,” as it is claimed that the fruits exhibit all five of the taste characteristics; - Sweet, Sour, Salty, Bitter and Spicy.
This deciduous, woody vine, is well suited to its natural forest habit where it likes some shade and moist, but well-drained soil. Schisandra Chinensis will grow to some 9 m, or 30 ft high and is hardy down to -25°C. The vine does produce fragrant flowers that are followed by scarlet, edible fruits, but
these are only produced if both a male and female plant is present so that the male pollen, from the male flowers, can fertilise the
“eggs,” in the female flowers. However, there is a hybrid type called "Eastern Prince" which flowers and is self-fertile,
and although seedlings of "Eastern Prince" are often sold they are usually single-sex plants.