Volume 33 Number 3 Article 7 Pages: 100-104
Year 1979 Month 7
Title: The Jujube Tree (Zizyphus jujuba Lam)
Author: P.M. Lyrene
The jujube (Zizyphus jujuba Lam)
is a small, deciduous, ornamental fruit
tree native to Asia but grown in the
southeastern United States for over
The genus Zizyphus is in
the Rhamnacea, or buckthorn family,
and includes about 40 species of
plants in tropical and subtropical regions of the northern hemisphere (15).
Seven Zizyphus species are native to
the United States and Mexico, but
none is of economic importance (11).
Z. jujuba and Z. mauritiana Lam. are
the 2 most important species.
are of old-world origin.
ship between Z. jujuba and Z. mauritiana is obscured in the literature by
the frequent illegitimate use of the
name Z. jujuba by writers referring
to Z. mauritiana (11). Z. jujuba is the
less tropical of the 2, and is native
where temperatures range from -6°C
to 48°C and rainfall from 125 to over
2000 mm (5-80 inches (8). Z. jujuba
is deciduous and has glabrous leaves.
Because it is more important in China
than in any other country, it is commonly called the "Chinese date." By
contrast, Z. mauritiana is evergreen,
has pubescent leaves, and is commercially most important in India, where
it is called Ber or Indian jujube (15).
The phylogenetic relationship between the 2 species has not been
worked out, nor has their cross compatibility been investigated.
and Singh (12) counted chromosomes
for 35 cultivars of Indian jujubes.
basic or x number for the group was
12; 33 cultivars were tetraploid (2n =
48), 1 was pentaploid (2n = 60), and
2 were octaploid (2n = 96). Limited
work on the Chinese jujubes (12) indicated that most may be diploids
(2n = 24).
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