Ziziphus Mauritiana, called common jujube, is a small, droopy-branched, somewhat spiny, deciduous tree or large shrub that is native from southeastern Europe to China. Each leaf has two sharp stipular spines. Leaves turn yellow in fall. Non-showy, white to yellowish-green flowers (3/16″ diameter) are fragrant. Flowers bloom in the leaf axils from late spring to early summer. Fruit is a round to elongate drupe of varying size (from cherry to plum), but typically to 1 1/4″ long with a single stone within. When maturing from green to red, each smooth-skinned fruit has a sweet, crisp flesh somewhat reminiscent of an apple. After maturing to red/reddish-brown, the fruits wrinkle and take on the appearance (and some say taste) of date, hence the alternate common name of Chinese date for this plant.
Planting & Caring –
Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Best in hot and somewhat dry climates in full sun. Plants tolerate alkaline soils. Mature plants have some tolerance for drought but perform best with regular and consistent moisture. Avoid heavy, poorly drained soils. Plants will sucker from the roots.