This post, titled Jujube Tree Information – A Unique Edible Tree, covers the edibility, propagation and medicinal uses of neat plant. Jujube (Ziziphus jujuba) is also sometimes called red date, Chinese date, Korean date, or Indian date. It is a small deciduous tree reaching up to 40’ in height. Jujube is a native to many parts of Asia and has over 400 cultivars. It has thorns on the branches of most cultivars. The wood is very hard and strong.
Jujube has small, ovate or oval leaves that are 1-2 inches long and a shiny bright green. In the autumn, the leaves turn bright yellow before falling. In the mid spring small flowers with five inconspicuous yellowish-green petals emerge, giving way to strawberry sized fruit in the late summer into the fall. Most jujube cultivars produce fruit without cross-pollination.
More Jujube Tree Information
The fruit has a thin edible skin surrounding whitish flesh in an oval shape up to an inch and a quarter deep. It starts out green and tasting like an apple maturing brown to purplish-black and eventually wrinkled, looking like a small date. There is a single stone similar to an olive pit that contains two seeds. A mature jujube tree can have 40 to 100 lb or more of fruit depending on tree size and culture management. It requires hot summers and sufficient water for good fruiting.
The fruits are eaten fresh, dried, candied, and smoked. Juice, marmalades, jujube vinegar, pickles, and wine are also made from the fruit of Jujube. Fresh fruit harvested when first ripe can be stored at 40° F for two weeks or more without losing quality. The best time to harvest drying cultivars is when they are fully red.
There are over 400 cultivars of jujube in total. I have the three listed below and will be writing articles on them in the future. I just put my trees in last year, so I have not harvested any fruit yet.
Popular commercial cultivar. Large, round fruit up to 3 ounces, mid-season (ripens in mid-August), fresh eating cultivar. Good quality. USDA Zones 5-10. Self fertile. May be picked at the yellow-green stage. Tree is many-branched, yet narrow and upright. Best first tree to have.
Another popular commercial cultivar. Fruit is big and pear-shaped and good for drying. This fruit is best to let dry on the tree. The tree is upright and virtually spineless and is a late season ripening variety. Some fruit may split if it rains at mature season. USDA Zones 5-10. Pollenized by Li or other jujubes.
Prolific producer of golden-brown fruit with a unique coconut-like flavor. Can be self fruitful, but a second variety recommended for best fruit set. Origin- Nikita Botanic Garden in Yalta, Ukraine.
Most commercial jujube trees are grafted on sour jujube for their hardiness. Softwood cuttings are also possible.
While they may not have a large amount of any one nutrient, jujubes contain a wide array of different ones, including magnesium, potassium, copper, niacin, calcium, manganese, phosphorus, and iron. They contain 20 times more vitamin C than any citrus fruit, strengthening the immune system and fighting infections, which may be why they’ve been used medicinally for millennia in many cultures, as a tea for sore throat, for example.  *
Medical studies have found that jujube fruits and extracts have the capacity help lower blood pressure, reverse liver disease, treat anemia, and inhibit the growth of tumor cells that can lead to leukemia. Jujube extracts are also used in skin care products used to diminish wrinkles, relieve dry skin, and treat sunburn pain.  *
The seeds, fruit, and bark of jujube have been used in traditional medicine for anxiety and insomnia, and as an appetite stimulant or digestive aid. Experiments in animals support the presence of anxiolytic and sedative properties. However, clinical trials are lacking.  *
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup butter
- 2 cups dried, minced jujube
- 1 cup water
Bring these to a boil then set aside to cool
- 2 cups wheat flour
- 1 teaspoonful soda
- 1/2 teaspoonful salt
Sift these together then add to the above mixture. Bake at 325° F
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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