AZ Arboretums

Ziziphus jujuba

Chinese jujube

Common: Jujube, Chinese jujube, Chinese date tree, Tsao
Family: Rhamnaceae
Origin: Southeastern Europe to China
Zones: 7-16, 18-24
Light: Full sun
Temperature: Can withstand wide range of temperatures; virtually no temperature seems to be too high in summertime. Winter dormancy allows it to withstand temperatures to -28 degrees F.
Soil: Grows better in good garden soil, but tolerates saline and alkaline soils.
Water: Needs deep watering during growing season. Tolerates drought.

Small deciduous tree, growing to 40 ft. in areas like Florida, but smaller in size in California. Naturally drooping. Graceful, ornamental and thorny, with branches growing in a zig-zag pattern. Wood is very hard and strong.

Small oval leaves are 1-2 inches long and a shiny bright green. Turn bright yellow before falling in autumn. Each node of woodey branch produces one to ten branchlets. Most are deciduous, falling from the plant in autumn.

Inconspicuous, 1/5 inch flowers are somewhat fragrant and produced in large numbers. Flowering period extends over several months. Well protected from spring frosts by delayed budding.

Has been cultivated in China for over 4,000 years. Over 400 cultivars. Are grown today to some extent in Russia, northern Africa, southern Europe, the Middle East, and the southwestern United States. Fruit varies from round to elongated, has a thin, edible skin surrounding whitish flesh of sweet, agreeable flavor. Should be given warm sunny location.