Ziziphus jujuba Rhamnaceae
Jujube, Chinese Date ZIZ-i-fus joo-JOO-ba (joo-JOOB)
- Broadleaf deciduous shrub or tree, to about 30 ft (~9 m) tall, flexible twigs with curved or straight spines (thorns).
Leaves alternate, simple, leathery, oval-lanceolate to elliptic, 2.5-6 cm long, apex rounded or obtuse,
3-veined at base, glabrous, margin with rounded teeth (crenate); petiole 1-5 mm long. Flowers small,
yellow, 1-3 per cluster. Fruit 1.5-2.5 cm long, ovate-oblong, dark red then black, contains a
single hard olive-like seed; fruit edible, date-like when dried.
- Sun to light shade, not particular about the soil if well-drained, does well in semi-arid conditions.
- Hardy to USDA Zone 6 Native to temperate Asia but naturalized elsewhere.
- Cultivated for its fruits in warmer climates. Hundreds of cultivars have been developed, two common
ones available in the U.S. are ‘Lang’ and ‘Li’.
- Sunset Western Garden Book points out that its fruit may not ripen fully in cool-summer areas. In
this case pick the half-brown fruit and ripen indoors.
- Silverton, Oregon: The Oregon Garden.