Sugar Cane Jujube

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Ornamental Flowering Tree with Great Tasting Fruit

Sugar Cane Jujube (sometimes known as a Chinese date) is an introduction from the USDA Research Station as the one with the best for fresh eating.  It is a smaller tree that is densely branched and gets to about 12-15’ tall.  It can be grown as a lower branched tree to help you harvest the fruit if you like.  They do make a barrier plant as they have thorns.    Jujube trees are Chinese in origin where the fruit was used in Chinese medicine. 

The small yellow flowers are typical in June and have the unusual fragrance of grape soda pop.  The leaves are dark green and shiny and look like the leaves you might find on your pear tree.   

Sugar Cane Jujube makes a ton of fruit even on a young tree.  They start out green and are edible at that stage eaten fresh are very crispy and super sweet with an interesting syrupy flavor.  As the fruits continue to ripen, they turn a beautiful mahogany color and can be eaten at that stage too. 

They continue to ripen as you leave them on the tree and will darken and sweeten even more.  They can be picked as they turn brown and will continue to ripen after being picked, and will wrinkle and eventually dry.  Sugar Cane fruit can be used as you would raisins or dates in baked good, preserves or canning.  The beauty of this Jujube is that the fruit do not all ripen at the same time, but over a period so you have a chance to use them all if you can. 

Sugar Cane Jujube is a classic addition to your edible landscape.  You can use it as a specimen, or the perfect backdrop to your shrub or perennial border or maybe along the north side of your vegetable garden.   

Easy to grow in those hot dry areas and the plants are insect and disease free.  Once Sugar Cane Jujube is established, they are very drought tolerant.  They will produce fruit when planted alone as a specimen, or are very productive in groups too. 

This Jujube is hardy in zones 6-10.  The plants themselves are hardy on zone 5 but in some fall seasons if there is an early cold snap, the fruits may not fully ripen late into fall when they are harvested.

Sugar Cane Jujube is not very well known, but it’s certainly a plant you need to include to your edible landscape.  Sugar Cane is a great selection for fresh eating, or for allowing them to ripen and shrivel to use as you wish.  

* A Chinese date great for fresh eating
* Simple to grow, and best in full sun
* Wildly productive even as young plants
* Pest free, and drought tolerant once established

PLANT HIGHLIGHTS

Sugar Cane Jujube Is Suited to Grow in Zones 6-10
Growing Zones 6-10
More Information
Brand Nature Hills Nursery
Botanical Name Ziziphus jujuba 'Sugar Cane'
Foliage Green
Mature Height 20-40 feet
Mature Spread 10-15 feet
Soil Type Well- drained
Moisture Moderate
Sun Exposure Full Sun
Growth Rate Fast