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Jujube (Ziziphus jujuba)

Jujube Tree Many people may be familiar with some culinary and herbal uses of Jujube, but may not be familiar with the plant itself. A Jujube tree (also known as Chinese Date) can be found near the Arboretum's Program Shelter, adjacent to the Juniper Collection. A native of China and Japan, Jujube has been cultivated in many parts of the world for centuries and was introduced into the U.S. in the mid-1800's. Its sweet edible fruit can be used for a variety of culinary and medicinal purposes. The fruits can be eaten raw like dates, or used in cooking puddings, cakes, soups, etc. In China and Japan, the fruits, leaves, and roots are used to prepare herbal remedies for treating a wide variety of ailments, including arrhythmias, insomnia, fevers, liver conditions, malnutrition, anemia. They also are used as an aid in weight gain, increasing stamina, and strengthening bones and tendons. The fruit has a very high Vitamin C content. Candies called Jujubes and Jujyfruits may have originally contained extracts from the Jujube tree, but they became just chewy candy with any kind of fruit flavoring.

Jujube Bark Jujube Fruit Jujube belongs to the plant family Rhamnaceae - the same family as our native Carolina Buckthorn (Rhamnus caroliniana). Although a relatively small tree, it can grow as tall as 40 ft. The native species usually has two spines at the base of each leaf and gnarled branches, but our specimen is a cultivar without any spines. The Jujube has alternate, shiny, green leaves (1-2 in. long) that are finely toothed along the margins. The bark is rough and shaggy. The small, fleshy fruit is red (plumb or cherry size) with a single stone and matures in the fall. The fruit becomes wrinkled with age, resembling a date. Jujube has been used as a hedge plant. It has dense, hard, tough wood which has been used for agricultural implements and wood turning. It also makes good fuel and charcoal.

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University of Tennessee - Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center
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