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Jujube trees are known as Chinese Dates, Indian Dates, or Korean Dates to name a few common names (not those candies you eat at the movie theatre). Both the fruit and the seeds are used in both Chinese and Korean traditional medicine as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, plus a wide array of different nutriments, not to mention that the fruits contain 20 times more vitamin C than any citrus fruit! Wow!
The botanical name for Jujubes is Ziziphus jujuba and we are growing two different kinds at this time. ‘Sugar Cane’ and ‘Li’
Jujube trees are kind of exotic and not that commonly grown. Fresh or dried fruits from these trees are rarely found at grocery stores…yet they have been around for over 4,000 years.
Jujube trees are smaller trees that are quite ornamental with shiny, dark green leaves. They flower beginning in late spring and continue for months. The small flowers are greenish yellow and smell like grape soda pop. They say the fragrance makes people fall in love so be careful.
The fruit on Jujube trees develop to about the size of a large strawberry. They make so much fruit, you will probably have trouble using it all. Even as young plants, Jujube grows a lot of fruit. These unusual fruits can be eaten fresh when green where they are crispy and sweet and taste like an apple with a syrupy overtone. Or, Jujube fruits can be left on the trees to turn a mahogany color where they sweeten as they ripen. Finally, they can be allowed to finish ripening on the tree to the point where they shrivel and begin to dry. The fruits can be picked and kept at room temperature for about a week. Such versatile fruit from the Jujube trees: eaten fresh, canned, preserves, or dried and used like would dates or raisins.
Don’t have a green thumb? No problem! Jujube trees are so simple to grow. Plant, water to establish, stand back and watch it grow. Single specimen trees work great as Jujube trees pollinate themselves. Low branched plants make great screening plants, the perfect green backdrop to your favorite perennial or shrub border, or the best addition to your edible landscape. Jujube trees LOVE the heat and will thrive with little care producing a bounty of fruit.
Super hardy from zones 6-10, insect and pest free, easy to grow, ornamental, and loads of fruit. Jujube is a winner!