Schisandra chinensis, commonly known as the Magnolia vine, is one of the most ornamental edible vines you could ever wish to grow. Scratch the bark and an intense, clean fragrance that's a combination of Daphne odora and lime peel will greet your nose. The flowers of the Magnolia vine are insignificant, but the 4" clusters of shiny red berries are gorgeous. They ripen in late summer on year-old wood. If the Magnolia vine is very happy, it will send up suckers from the rootball and you can propagate new vines from them. Partial shade, steady moisture required. Acid soil preferred and leaves are very sensitive to salts in irrigation water.
Known as Wu We Zi in Mandarin (five taste fruit), Schisandra chinensis berries are one of the 50 essential ingredients in traditional Chinese medicine. Fresh Schisandra berries are much better tasting than the dried fruit, although both fresh and dried fruit are packed with nutrition. That said, the fresh berries are an acquired taste. Most Schisandra plants are dioecioius, meaning you need a male and a female plant to set fruit. This is not the case with Magnola vine 'Eastern Prince', our offering below, which is self-fertile. Zones 4-9.
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|Schisandra chinensis 'Eastern Prince'|
This Magnolia vine is a deciduous, twining, woody vine to about 20 feet, with unexceptional flowers and remarkable clusters of shiny red berries in late summer. Schisandra chinensis 'Eastern Prince' is an excellent choice for a shady nook in hot climates or full sun in coastal areas. The Magnolia vine prefers a rich, moisture-retentive soil and adequate water during the growing season. It is also very sensitive to salts in your water supply or fertilizer, so leach the roots regularly if you see light brown damage on leaf margins. Will take a few years to flower/fruit. 'Eastern Prince' is self-fertile, so it does not need a pollenizer. Hardy to about 0 degrees F. 1 gal containers, plants beginning dormancy, about 2' tall as of October 2019.