Fruit, leaves, root.
Like most of its relatives, the fruit of goumi is known as a great source of vitamins and minerals. It is especially rich in bioactive compounds such as flavonoids and the vitamins A, C, and E. It is also one of the few fruits that provides essential fatty acids, very useful compounds that are usually found only in food with an animal origin. Due to the potent combination of antioxidants, the fruit is investigated as a potential solution to prevent cancer or to limit the growth of tumours. The great combination of vitamins and antioxidants has made some authors include the goumi among the super foods. The fruit can be eaten raw but also lasts a long time in dried form. Its sour taste makes it perfect for jams, jellies and other types of preserves. Other parts of the goumi plant have medicinal uses. Cough can be treated using the leaves, while the astringent root can be used to alleviate sores and itchiness. Consuming the fruit helps patients who suffer from watery diarrhea. Antioxidant content of goumi fruit can help to boost our immune system.
The goumi fruit is very versatile and can be consumed fresh or in various dishes. It retains an acid taste even when fully ripe, which makes it an interesting addition to preserves or pies. It is not easily harvested since the skin is very fragile and it is also very easy to break the young shoots while doing it. It should only be picked when fully ripe, to avoid the very astringent taste. The large seed inside the fruit is also edible and can be chewed along with the pulp, even if it's fibrous. The seed can also be cooked.
It is very easy to grow and can thrive even in poor soils, as long as they have good drainage. The goumi actually enjoys dry and poor soils more than the very fertile ones. Light sandy loams are the best and it can be planted in both sunny and partially shaded locations. It is a very resilient species that can tolerate significant air pollution, as well as drought and strong winds. Goumi plant can survive severe frosts of -30�C, although only the roots will live in such a case, the aerial part being killed at around -20�C. When propagated using cuttings, it needs 4 years to start producing fruits. It is sometimes cultivated in Japan, where several varieties have been developed. Fruits are not easy to harvest because they are very fragile and grow well inside the shrub, which can be easily damaged. However, birds are able to fly in and consume them in large numbers. A particular variety, E. multiflora ovata, is more easily harvested since the fruits are found on long stalks. An interesting feature of the species is the symbiosis with some bacteria that live in the ground around its roots. These fix nitrogen from the air, which is not only used by the goumi but by some other nearby plants as well. This makes it a great choice in orchards, because the other fruits trees around it will use a part of the nitrogen and produce about 10% more fruits than normal. It is also popular in gardens due to the very pleasant fragrance of the flowers, similar to the one of lilac. Seeds are viable and can be used to easily propagate the goumi plant. They should be placed in a cold frame immediately after the fruits are ripe. Sometimes, it germinates at the end of winter or start of next spring, although it can take up to one year and a half in some cases. You can speed up the process through two periods of stratification, a warm one of 4 weeks and a cold one of 12 weeks. Once it germinates, the young plant grows very well and it should be immediately pricked into individual pots. After they reach a height of around 15 cm, they can be moved outside. Cuttings are also good for propagation, semi ripe wood with a length of 7 to 10 cm. Mature wood has a lower percentage, cutting should be 10 - 12 cm with a heel and need about one year. Layering has to be done in autumn, in September or October.