Wolfberry: botanical description and classification

Wolfberry: botanical description and classification
Wolfberry: botanical description and classification

What kind of plant is the common wolfberry (wolf bast, common wolfberry)? Why does it have such a name? What varieties are there in nature and where do they grow? It makes sense to understand the features of the classification, the specifics of growing and using the plant.



Surely many have seen a spectacular low tree or shrub with juicy green leaves and bright red fruits that remain on the branches for a long time. This happens not by chance. There is an opinion that any beauty can be insidious. So the common wolfberry (photo above) is beautiful and effective at first glance. But if you know its features, it becomes clear why no one eats mouth-watering berries, and leaves and branches are rarely thoughtlessly broken off.

According to the specification, the plants of the wolf family are called Daphne. From Greek, this word is translated as "laurel". This is due to the fact that the leaves of these species have a clear similarity. Another version of the name is associated with the legend of ancient Greece. According to the legend, a nymph named Daphne, running away from Apollo, burning with passion, asked the Earth goddess Gaia to hide her frompursuer. And she, without hesitation, turned the fugitive into a spectacular laurel tree.

wolfberry description

Wolfberry: description

The plant belongs to angiosperms from the dicotyledonous class, is in the malvotsvetny series. In the Volchnikov family, the genus Volcheyagodnik is distinguished. The plant is compact, has the appearance of a shrub, reaching a height of 1.5 meters. The root system lies superficially and can be easily damaged during tillage. The crown of the wolf forms a cup-shaped or sprawling. The leaves are smooth, dense and rigid, elliptical or lanceolate. Arranged alternately on the branch.

There are plants that shed their leaves and evergreen species. Small flowers are formed on shoots that have grown over the previous vegetative period. In shape, they can be collected in a bundle, head, brush. They vary in color (from white and shades of yellow to deep pink). Known for a pleasant aroma reminiscent of lilac. Flowering can last up to one month. The inedible berries that form when ripe are glossy and may be yellow, red, or black.

The wild-growing species that grows in our country, called the wolf's bast, is distinguished by the strength of the bark on the trunk. It is difficult to break it with your hands, you should not try to bite with your teeth. Contact with mucous membranes is fraught with poisoning. The plant belongs to poisonous species. Moreover, all parts of the bush cause harm to humans and animals.

Common wolfberry photo


Wolf's bast (common wolfberry) in the wild can be found on the edges of forests, in mixed thickets, neglected gardens. Distributed throughout Russia, found in Siberia and the Caucasus. Inhabits flat terrain and mountains. In the wild, it is not drowned out by taller growth. Transferred to cultural conditions, it gradually transforms and develops to the maximum species size.

Prefers a shady location in nutrient-rich light soil. Grows well in a moist site with good drainage. Tolerates pruning, forming a crown in the desired direction. Can be used to decorate gardens and landscaping. It is resistant to common pests and viral infections. Aphids and gray rot can pose a certain danger during cultivation.

Wolf's lyko


The common wolfberry is a typical representative of the middle lane. In total, experts distinguish almost 70 species in the family. The division is carried out depending on the region of growth. Many representatives are named on this basis (Alpine, Caucasian, Altai, Circassian, Kamchatka, Crimean, etc.). Some species from the family also grow in Asia, Western Europe, North Africa. Many Dáphne have been selected and acclimatized in various regions.

Subspecies of the plant have characteristic differences (leaf shape, inflorescence, total height, shade of flowers and their aroma, shape of berries). Often thesefeatures are the reasons for changing the names of wolfberries (silky and false silky, odorous or fragrant). Another specification is characteristic of species that are similar to other plants (laurel, olive-like).

Some names of wolfberry varieties can be understood even by a simple layman (upland, narrow-leaved, crowded, axillary daphne). Other features of wolves (Genqua, Iezian, Pontic, Gutta) are known and understood only by specialists who know the species characteristics of shrubs growing in different climatic zones.

Wolfberry ordinary Wolf's bast Common wolfberry

Features of cultivation

The wolf's bast plant (common wolfberry) is characterized by unpretentiousness and adaptability to environmental conditions. In harsh climates, the shrub withstands frost well. As an ornamental species, it is valued for its early flowering (April) and the relative length of this period.

The wolfworm is propagated by seeds, layering of the root system. You can divide the formed bush or plant cuttings in the prepared soil. When sowing, it is preferable to use fresh ripe berries, since the percentage of growth decreases during storage. In a normal environment, the shrub gives self-seeding. At the same time, not all fallen fruits germinate.

When planting seeds in the soil in autumn, they maintain a depth of no more than 3 cm. Shoots appear in spring. For cultivation, the soil is cultivated, mulching is carried out, watered, and weeds are controlled. One year after sowing(August - September) young sprouts are transplanted to a permanent place, choosing a shaded area.

Next spring, it is advisable to make a complex top dressing with mineral fertilizers. Peat can be added in advance when planting. Pruning and crown formation is carried out in the first years of development. In the future, intensive growth of shoots is not observed and it is only necessary to monitor their condition (sanitary pruning). Transplanting adult bushes to a new location can lead to negative results. Therefore, you should resort to this only in case of emergency.


Wolfberry is valuable for many in appearance. It is planted to improve the garden or the area adjacent to the house. It finds application in rock gardens as a decorative element of a complex landscape composition. The entire plant is decorative. Used in the garden as a background element, can border the edges of the areas of the site, paths and paths.

Berries are distinguished separately for their bright and juicy appearance, flowers - for their tenderness of shades and diffused aroma. Another important feature is early and abundant flowering. Thanks to this, the wolfberry is planted on the site as the first honey plant.

In folk medicine, the common wolf is practically not used. The practice of using ground bark and its extract as an irritant for snake bites and rabid animals was previously mentioned. The berries were used by artists to make paints.

Wolf's bast plant Common wolfberry

Poison plant

The fact that the common wolfberry has toxicity has long been known. There was an opinion among the people that six berries could kill a wolf. The juice of the plant, its fruits, leaves, bark and roots are dangerous and can cause serious harm to he alth. You need to be especially careful when growing shrubs in conditions where small children can have access to it.

Ripe berries can get their attention. Although they do not taste pleasant at all, even brief contact with mucous membranes can be harmful. Therefore, even with normal contact with the wolfberry, care should be taken. Washing your hands with soap will prevent unwanted consequences.

Popular topic