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Ziziphus jujuba - Mill.

Common Name Jujube
Family Rhamnaceae
USDA hardiness 5-10
Known Hazards Caution in diabetics on allopathic medication [301].
Habitats Dry gravelly or stony slopes of hills and mountains[74].
Range E. Asia - China, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia to Australia.
Edibility Rating    (4 of 5)
Other Uses    (3 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (3 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Ziziphus jujuba Jujube

Ziziphus jujuba Jujube


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of lolypop
Ziziphus jujuba is a deciduous Tree growing to 10 m (32ft) by 7 m (23ft) at a fast rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 6. It is in flower from April to May, and the seeds ripen in October. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects. The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Ziziphus mauritiana Lam. Z. sativa. Z. vulgaris. Z. zizyphus. (L.)Karsten. Rhamnus zizyphus.

Plant Habitats

Woodland Garden Secondary; Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Hedge;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit  Leaves
Edible Uses: Coffee

Fruit - raw or cooked[1, 2, 3, 100, 158]. Mealy and sweet[46]. A sourish-sweet flavour[174]. The fruit can be eaten fresh, dried like dates or cooked in puddings, cakes, breads, jellies, soups etc[183]. The dried fruit has the nicest taste[11, 132]. The fruits are often left to become wrinkled and spongy, which increases their sweetness, and are then eaten fresh or cooked[238]. The dried fruit can also be ground into a powder. This powder is used in the preparation of 'kochujang', a fermented hot pepper-soybean paste that resembles miso[183]. Fruits contain one or two seeds[238]. Average yields from wild trees in the Himalayas are 9.5kg per year[194]. The fruit contains about 8.7% sugars, 2.6% protein, 1.4% ash, 1.7% pectin and 1.3% tannin[194]. The fruit is about 25mm long, though it can be larger in cultivated varieties[200]. The fruit can be used as a coffee substitute[183]. Leaves - cooked. A famine food, they are only used when all else fails[179]. A nutritional analysis is available[218].

References   More on Edible Uses

Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.
Fruit (Dry weight)
  • 350 Calories per 100g
  • Water : 0%
  • Protein: 7.3g; Fat: 1.2g; Carbohydrate: 84g; Fibre: 4g; Ash: 3g;
  • Minerals - Calcium: 130mg; Phosphorus: 168mg; Iron: 3.5mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 12mg; Potassium: 1050mg; Zinc: 0mg;
  • Vitamins - A: 125mg; Thiamine (B1): 0.1mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0.18mg; Niacin: 2.8mg; B6: 0mg; C: 300mg;
  • Reference: [ 218]
  • Notes: The figures given here are the median of a range given in the report.

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Anodyne  Antidote  Astringent  Cancer  Diuretic  Emollient  Expectorant  Hypnotic  
Narcotic  Pectoral  Poultice  Refrigerant  Sedative  Skin  Stomachic  

Jujube is both a delicious fruit and an effective herbal remedy. It aids weight gain, improves muscular strength and increases stamina[254]. In Chinese medicine it is prescribed as a tonic to strengthen liver function[254]. Japanese research has shown that jujube increases immune-system resistance. In one clinical trial in China 12 patients with liver complaints were given jujube, peanuts and brown sugar nightly. In four weeks their liver function had improved[254]. Antidote, diuretic, emollient, expectorant[11, 61, 174, 178, 194]. The dried fruits contain saponins, triterpenoids and alkaloids[279]. They are anodyne, anticancer, pectoral, refrigerant, sedative, stomachic, styptic and tonic[4, 176, 218]. They are considered to purify the blood and aid digestion[240]. They are used internally in the treatment of a range of conditions including chronic fatigue, loss of appetite, diarrhoea, pharyngitis, bronchitis, anaemia, irritability and hysteria[176, 238, 279]. The seed contains a number of medically active compounds including saponins, triterpenes, flavonoids and alkaloids[279]. It is hypnotic, narcotic, sedative, stomachic and tonic[147, 176, 218]. It is used internally in the treatment of palpitations, insomnia, nervous exhaustion, night sweats and excessive perspiration[176, 238]. The root is used in the treatment of dyspepsia[218]. A decoction of the root has been used in the treatment of fevers[4, 240]. The root is made into a powder and applied to old wounds and ulcers[240]. The leaves are astringent and febrifuge[4, 218]. They are said to promote the growth of hair[218]. They are used to form a plaster in the treatment of strangury[240]. The plant is a folk remedy for anaemia, hypertonia, nephritis and nervous diseases[218]. The plant is widely used in China as a treatment for burns[218].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Charcoal  Fuel  Hedge  Hedge  Wood

Plants can be grown as a hedge[178]. Wood - dense, hard, compact, tough. Used for turnery, agricultural implements etc[74, 146, 158]. It makes an excellent fuel[146] and a good charcoal[158]. Espalier: tree or other plants that is trained to grow flat against a support (such as a trellis or wall).

Special Uses

Espalier  Food Forest  Hedge  Hedge

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Succeeds in most soils so long as they are well-drained[3, 200]. Prefers an open loam and a hot dry position[1, 3]. Succeeds in an alkaline soil[200]. Plants are fast growing, even in poor soils[146]. Plants are hardy to about -20°c[200]. Another report says that they are hardy to about -30°c when fully dormant[160]. The jujube is often cultivated in warm temperate zones for its edible fruit, there are many named varieties[50, 183]. The trees need a hot dry summer if they are to fruit well, which rather restricts their potential in a country like Britain[238, K]. The tree spreads by root suckers and self-sowing, often forming dense thickets. Where the climate suits it, the plant can escape from cultivation and become an invasive and problematic weed[274]. Trees are resistant to most pests and diseases[160]. Responds well to coppicing[146]. Trees form a deep taproot and should be planted into their permanent positions as soon as possible[200]. Fast growing and quick to mature, it can fruit in 3 - 4 years from seed[200]. For polyculture design as well as the above-ground architecture (form - tree, shrub etc. and size shown above) information on the habit and root pattern is also useful and given here if available. A sprouting standard sending up shoots from the base [1-2]. The root pattern is a tap root similar to a carrot going directly down [1-2]. The root pattern is suckering with new plants from underground runners away from the plant [1-2].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Plant Propagation

Seed - best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Stored seed requires 3 months warm then 3 months cold stratification[113]. Germination should take place in the first spring, though it might take another 12 months. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a cold frame for at least their first winter. Plant out in early summer. Root cuttings in a greenhouse in the winter[200]. Best results are achieved if a temperature of 5 - 10°c can be maintained[238]. Cuttings of mature wood of the current season's growth, November to January in a frame[238]. Division of suckers in the dormant season[174]. They can be planted out direct into their permanent positions if required.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

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Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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Botanical References


Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

Readers comment

Andrew Ricketts   Tue Oct 15 13:41:15 2002

I believe there are several cultivars: Li, Nikitkij 93, Shui men, Small, So tsao, Tajan czao. Found in a nursery catalogue in Australia. Also there is a book on Jujubes by Meyer.

imtiazkassana   Fri Dec 5 09:36:21 2003

Its usefulness is highlighted in our Holy Quran.kassana.

saima kamal   Sun May 29 15:07:32 2005

my comment is that 1 person done work on this and separate alkaloids from it bt it does not contain hydrocarbons.how it is possible

[email protected]   Fri Dec 16 2005

I try to introduce this kind in conditions of city of Kharkov (Ukraine). For the winter I cover leaves, but by the spring a plant frozen up to a level of a ground, and in the summer intensive grows. Flowering and fructification did not observe. I wish to raise its winter hardiness.

Ulla Thorpe   Sat Aug 12 2006

Today the 12/8/2006 I visited a farm in Jerez de la Frontera (Spain) and found this beautiful tree for the first time in my life, (I am 62 Years old), I was surprised when seeing this tree, tasted the fruits( it was full of them), the taste is almost like apples,never too late to experiment something new!!And finding your site was fantastik, seens I like to know more about things.

Andy Charles   Tue Oct 10 2006

I love these fruits, recently I tried some that were dried but very moist. I have dried them but they were not moist at all. Does anybody know the trick to make them moist when drying? Thanks, Andy [email protected] I

Diriba Nigusie   Fri Nov 10 2006

I love this fruit and want to introduce its improved cultivars (Gola, Seb Umran,Ponda) Where shall I have

gadi ramon   Sun Jan 27 2008

Hi guys I'd like to have some stick from this type of ziziphus. There is also posibility to exchenge with types of figus carica thank you Gadi

Cris   Sat Jun 7 2008

Do you know where we can buy a small tree in California ?

Andi   Wed Dec 31 2008

Hello, I'm looking for a Ziziphus jujuba of short stature and good fruits for my garden. Any recommendation for a cultivar and a nursery sending the recommendation to central europe (Zone 7b) ? andic a t xmail d o t net

assad   Sun Aug 9 2009

Dear Sir/Madam I am enquiring about a certain product that i wish to purchase and was wondering if you will be able to help, i am in the United Kingdom and wish to purchase small tree's of the ZIZIPHUS SPINA CHRISTI also known as jujube, sidr and lote. please let me know if you can help me as i wish to buy ASAP

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