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For the artificial candy, see jujube (confectionery).
"Jujubee" redirects here. For the person, see Jujubee (drag queen).
Ziziphus jujuba
Ziziphus jujuba
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Rosales
Family: Rhamnaceae
Genus: Ziziphus
Species: Z. jujuba
Binomial name
Ziziphus jujuba
  • Paliurus mairei H. Lèv.
  • Rhamnus jujuba L.
  • Rhamnus soporifera Lour.
  • Rhamnus zizyphus L.
  • Ziziphus jujuba (L.) Lam.
  • Ziziphus jujuba (L.) Gaertn.
  • Ziziphus mairei (H. Lèv.) Browicz & Lauener
  • Ziziphus nitida Roxb.
  • Ziziphus orthacantha DC.
  • Ziziphus poiretii G.Don nom. illeg.
  • Ziziphus rotundata DC.
  • Ziziphus sativa Gaertn.
  • Ziziphus soporifera (Lour.) Stokes
  • Ziziphus spinosa (Bunge) Hu ex F.H. Chen
  • Ziziphus tomentosa Poir.
  • Ziziphus trinervia Roth nom. illeg.
  • Ziziphus vulgaris var. inermis Bunge
  • Ziziphus vulgaris var. spinosa Bunge
  • Ziziphus zizyphus (L.) H.Karst.
  • Ziziphus zizyphus (L.) Meikle
  • Zizyphon jujubum St.-Lag.
Jujube, raw
Azufaifas fcm.jpg
Fresh jujube fruit
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 331 kJ (79 kcal)
20.23 g
0.2 g
1.2 g
Vitamin A equiv.
40 μg
Thiamine (B1)
0.02 mg
Riboflavin (B2)
0.04 mg
Niacin (B3)
0.9 mg
Vitamin B6
0.081 mg
Vitamin C
69 mg
21 mg
0.48 mg
10 mg
0.084 mg
23 mg
250 mg
3 mg
0.05 mg
Other constituents
Water 77.86 g

Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database
Jujube, dried
Ziziphus jujuba MS 2461.JPG
Jujube fruit naturally turns red upon drying.
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 1,201 kJ (287 kcal)
73.6 g
1.1 g
3.7 g
Vitamin A equiv.
0 μg
Thiamine (B1)
0.21 mg
Riboflavin (B2)
0.36 mg
Niacin (B3)
0.5 mg
Vitamin B6
0 mg
Vitamin C
13 mg
79 mg
1.8 mg
37 mg
0.305 mg
100 mg
531 mg
9 mg
0.19 mg
Other constituents
Water 19.7 g

Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database
Ziziphus zizyphus - MHNT

Ziziphus jujuba (from Greek ζίζυφον, zízyphon[2]), commonly called jujube[3] (/ˈb/; sometimes jujuba), red date, Chinese date,[3] Korean date, or Indian date is a species of Ziziphus in the buckthorn family (Rhamnaceae). It is used primarily as a shade tree that also bears fruit.


Plate from the book Flora de Filipinas

It is a small deciduous tree or shrub reaching a height of 5–12 metres (16–39 ft), usually with thorny branches. The leaves are shiny-green, ovate-acute, 2–7 centimetres (0.79–2.76 in) wide and 1–3 centimetres (0.39–1.18 in) broad, with three conspicuous veins at the base, and a finely toothed margin. The flowers are small, 5 millimetres (0.20 in) wide, with five inconspicuous yellowish-green petals. The fruit is an edible oval drupe 1.5–3 centimetres (0.59–1.18 in) deep; when immature it is smooth-green, with the consistency and taste of an apple, maturing brown to purplish-black and eventually wrinkled, looking like a small date. There is a single hard stone similar to an olive stone.[4]


Its precise natural distribution is uncertain due to extensive cultivation, but is thought to be in southern Asia, between Lebanon, Iran, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nepal (called "bayar"), the Korean peninsula, southern and central China, and also southeastern Europe, though more likely introduced there.[4]

This plant has been introduced in Madagascar and grows as an invasive species in the western part of the island. This plant is known as the "hinap" or "finab" in the eastern part of Bulgaria where it grows wild but is also a garden shrub, kept for its fruit. The fruit is picked in the autumn. The trees grow wild in the eastern Caribbean, and are reported to exist in Jamaica and Trinidad as well. In Antigua and Barbuda, the fruit is called "dumps or "dums". It is also known as "pomme surete" on the French islands of the Caribbean. This fruit, more precisely known as "Indian jujube" elsewhere, is different from the "jujube" fruit that is cultivated in various parts of southern California.[5][6]


The species has a curious nomenclatural history, due to a combination of botanical naming regulations, and variations in spelling.[citation needed] It was first described scientifically by Carl Linnaeus as Rhamnus zizyphus, in Species Plantarum in 1753. Later, in 1768, Philip Miller concluded it was sufficiently distinct from Rhamnus to merit separation into a new genus, in which he named it Ziziphus jujube, using Linnaeus' species name for the genus but with a probably accidental single letter spelling difference, "i" for "y". For the species name he used a different name, as tautonyms (repetition of exactly the same name in the genus and species) are not permitted in botanical naming. However, because of Miller's slightly different spelling, the combination correctly using the earliest species name (from Linnaeus) with the new genus, Ziziphus zizyphus, is not a tautonym, and was therefore permitted as a botanical name. This combination was made by Hermann Karsten in 1882.[4][7] In 2006, a proposal was made to suppress the name Ziziphus zizyphus in favor of Ziziphus jujuba,[8] and this proposal was accepted in 2011.[9] Ziziphus jujuba is thus the correct scientific name for this species.

Vernacular names[edit]

Jujube fruit is known by a variety of names.

Cultural and religious references[edit]

In Arabic-speaking regions the jujube and alternatively the Ziziphus lotus are closely related to the lote-trees ("sing. "sidrah", pl. "sidr") which are mentioned in the Quran,[11][12] while in Palestine it is rather the Ziziphus spina-christi that is called sidr.[13]

Cultivation and uses[edit]

Ziziphus jujuba, written in Monbusho chant lyrics. It is now located in General Nogi's residence.

Jujube was domesticated in south Asia by 9000 BCE.[14] Over 400 cultivars have been selected.

The tree tolerates a wide range of temperatures and rainfall, though it requires hot summers and sufficient water for acceptable fruiting. Unlike most of the other species in the genus, it tolerates fairly cold winters, surviving temperatures down to about −15 °C (5 °F). This enables the jujube to grow in mountain or desert habitats, provided there is access to underground water throughout the summer. The species Ziziphus jujuba grows in cooler regions of Asia. Five or more other species of Ziziphus are widely distributed in milder climates to hot deserts of Asia and Africa.[15]

In Madagascar, jujube trees grow extensively in the western part of the island, from the north all the way to the south. It is widely eaten by free ranging zebus, and its seeds grow easily in zebu feces. It is an invasive species, threatening mostly protected areas.

Culinary use[edit]

The freshly harvested as well as the candied dried fruit are often eaten as a snack, or with coffee. Smoked jujubes are consumed in Vietnam and are referred to as 'black jujubes.[16] Both China and Korea produce a sweetened tea syrup containing jujube fruit in glass jars, and canned jujube tea or jujube tea in the form of teabags. To a lesser extent, jujube fruit is made into juice and jujube vinegar (called or 红枣 in Chinese). They are used for making pickles (কুলের আচার) in west Bengal and Bangladesh. In China there is a wine made from jujube fruit, called hong zao jiu (红枣酒).

Sometimes pieces of jujube fruit are preserved by storing them in a jar filled with baijiu (Chinese liquor), which allows them to be kept fresh for a long time, especially through the winter. Such jujubes are called jiu zao (酒枣; literally "alcohol jujube"). The fruit is also a significant ingredient in a wide variety of Chinese delicacies[which?].

In Vietnam and Taiwan, fully mature, nearly ripe fruit is harvested and sold on the local markets and also exported to Southeast Asian countries.[17] The dried fruit is used in desserts in China and Vietnam, such as Ching bo leung, a cold beverage that includes the dried jujube, longan, fresh seaweed, barley, and lotus seeds.[17]

In Korea, jujubes are called daechu (대추) and are used in Daechucha teas and samgyetang.

In Croatia, especially Dalmatia, jujubes are used in marmalades, juices and rakija (fruit brandy).

In Lebanon, Jordan and other Middle Eastern countries the fruit is eaten as snacks or alongside a dessert after a meal.[citation needed] On his visit to Medina the nineteenth century English explorer, Sir Richard Burton, observed that the local variety of Jubube fruit was widely eaten. He describes its taste as "like a bad plum, an unrepentant cherry and an insipid apple." He gives the local names for three varieties as "Hindi (Indian), Baladi (native), Tamri (date like)."[18] In Palestine a hundred years ago a close variety was common in the Jordan valley and around Jerusalem.[19] The bedouin valued the fruit, calling it nabk. It could be dried and kept for winter or made into a paste which was used as bread.[20]

In Persian cuisine, the dried drupes are known as "annab", while in neighboring Azerbaijan it is commonly eaten as a snack, and are known as "innab". These names are related, and the Turks use a similarly related name, "hünna.Ziziphus jujuba grows in northern Pakistan and is known as "innab", commonly used in the Tibb system of medicine.[citation needed] There seems to be quite a widespread confusion in the common name. The innab is Z. jujuba: the local name "ber" is not used for innab. Rather ber is used for three other cultivated or wild species, e.g., Z. spina-christi, Z. mauritiana, and Z. nummularia in Pakistan and parts of India and is eaten both fresh and dried. Often the dry fruit (ber) was used as a padding in leather horse saddles in parts of Baluchistan in Pakistan.[citation needed] The Arabic name "sidr" is used for Ziziphus species other than Z. jujuba.

Traditionally in India, the fruit is dried in the sun and the hard nuts are removed. Then, it is pounded with tamarind, red chillies, salt, and jaggery. In some parts of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, fresh whole ripe fruit is crushed with the above ingredients and dried under the sun to make cakes called "ilanthai vadai" or "regi vadiyalu" (Telugu).[21]

In Madagascar, jujube fruit is eaten fresh or dried. People also use it to make jam. A jujube honey is produced in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco.[17]

In Italy there is an alcoholic syrup called brodo di giuggiole.[22]

Medicinal use[edit]

The fruit and its seeds are used in Chinese and Korean traditional medicine, where they are believed to alleviate stress,[23] and traditionally for anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-ulcer, anti-inflammatory purposes and sedation,[24] antispastic, antifertility/contraception, hypotensive and antinephritic, cardiotonic, antioxidant, immunostimulant, and wound healing properties.[25]

A controlled clinical trial found the fruit helpful for chronic constipation.[26] In another clinical trial, Zizyphus jujuba was proved to be effective against neonatal jaundice.[27]

In Persian traditional medicine it is used in combination with other herbal medicines to treat colds, flu and coughing.[citation needed]

Research suggests jujube fruit has nootropic and neuroprotective properties.[28][29][30][31][32]

Ziziphin, a compound in the leaves of the jujube, suppresses the ability to perceive sweet taste.[33] The fruit, being mucilaginous, is very soothing to the throat and decoctions of jujube have often been used in pharmacy to treat sore throats.[citation needed]

Other uses[edit]

The jujube's sweet smell is believed[by whom?] to make teenagers fall in love, and as a result, in the Himalaya and Karakoram regions, boys take a stem of sweet-smelling jujube flowers with them or put it on their hats to attract girls.[citation needed]

In the traditional Chinese wedding ceremony, the jujube was often placed in the newlyweds' bedroom as a good luck charm for fertility, along with peanuts, longan, and chestnuts, punning on an invocation to "have an honored child soon".[citation needed]

In Bhutan, the leaves are used as a potpourri to help keep homes smelling fresh and clean. It is also used to keep bugs and other insects out of the house and free of infestation.[citation needed]

In Japan, the natsume has given its name to a style of tea caddy used in the Japanese tea ceremony, due to the similar shape,[34] and also to nightlights (ナツメ球), again due to the similarity between the shape of the bulb and the fruit.[citation needed]

In Korea, the wood is used to make the body of the taepyeongso, a double-reed wind instrument. The wood is also used to make Go bowls, beads, and violin parts.[citation needed]

In Madagascar, jujube trees are a good wood for charcoal, the second main source of cooking energy.[citation needed]

Pests and diseases[edit]

(Ziziphus jujuba) Foliage at Hyderabad, India

Witch's brooms, prevalent in China and Korea, is the main disease affecting jujubes, though plantings in North America currently are not affected by any pests or diseases.[35] In Europe (Croatia in this case on the picture) last several years there is a problem with jujubes (some 80%-90% of the crop) eaten by worms.

Jujube date attacked by worm.


  1. ^ "The Plant List: A Working List of All Plant Species". 
  2. ^ ζίζυφον, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus Digital Library
  3. ^ a b "USDA GRIN Taxonomy". 
  4. ^ a b c Rushforth, K. (1999). Trees of Britain and Europe. Collins ISBN 0-00-220013-9.
  5. ^ https://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/indian_jujube.html
  6. ^ http://www.crfg.org/pubs/ff/jujube.html
  7. ^ Clarke, D. L. (1988). W. J. Bean Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles, Supplement. John Murray ISBN 0-7195-4443-2.
  8. ^ Kirkbride, Joseph H.; Wiersma, John H.; Turland, Nicholas J. (2006). "(1753) Proposal to conserve the name Ziziphus jujuba against Z. zizyphus (Rhamnaceae)". Taxon (International Association for Plant Taxonomy) 55 (4): 1049–1050. doi:10.2307/25065716. Retrieved 30 January 2013. 
  9. ^ Barrie, Fred R. (2011). "Report of the General Committee: 11". Taxon (International Association for Plant Taxonomy) 60 (4): 1211–1214. Retrieved 30 January 2013. 
  10. ^ Elsie, Robert (1998). "Dendronymica Albanica: A survey of Albanian tree and shrub names" (PDF). Zeitschrift für Balkanologie 34: 30. Retrieved 15 August 2015. 
  11. ^ Abdullah, Yusuf Ali (1946) The Holy Qur-an. Text, Translation and Commentary, Qatar National Printing Press.p.1139,n.3814
  12. ^ Stephen Lambden. "The Sidrah (Lote-Tree) and the Sidrat al-Muntaha (Lote-Tree of the Extremity): Some Apects of their Islamic and Bābī-Bahā'ī Iintepretations.". Retrieved 9 December 2015. This is apparently the wild jujube or zizyphus spina-christi (Christ's thorn), a tall, stout, tropical tree (see image above) with dense prickly branches which produces a sweet reddish fruit similar to that of the jujube (the `unnāb = zizyphus vulgaris / fruit) 
  13. ^ Easton, M.G., M.A., D.D. (1893). Illustrated Bible Dictionary and Treasury of Biblical History, Biography, Geography, Doctrine, and Literature. London, Edinburgh and New York: T. Nelson and Sons. p. 688. 
  14. ^ Gupta, Anil K. "Origin of agriculture and domestication of plants and animals linked to early Holocene climate amelioration", Current Science, Vol. 87, No. 1, 10 July 2004, 59. Indian Academy of Sciences.
  15. ^ S. Chaudhary. "Rhamnaceae" in: S. Chaudhary (Ed). Flora of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Vol II (Part One) 2001.
  16. ^ "Rare Fruit: Jujubes". Seasonalchef.com. Retrieved 1 August 2010. 
  17. ^ a b c Edible Medicinal and Non-Medicinal Plants. Volume 5, Fruits. Lim, T.K. Dordrecht: Springer Science+Business Media. 2013. p. 580. ISBN 978-9400756526. 
  18. ^ Burton, Sir Richard Francis (1855) A Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to Al-Madinah and Meccah pp.404,405
  19. ^ Easton, M.G., M.A., D.D. (1893) 'Illustrated Bible Dictionary and Treasury of Biblical History, Biography, Geography, Doctrine, and Literature With Numerous Illustrations and Important Chronological Tables and Maps. T. Nelson and Sons, London, Edinburgh and New York. p.688. "It overruns a great part of the Jordan valley."
  20. ^ Crowfoot, M. Grace with Louise Baldenserger (1932) From Cedar to Hyssop. A study in the Folklore of Plants in Palestine. The Sheldon Press, London. pp.112,113
  21. ^ "Kamala's Corner: Indian Jujube - Elanthai Pazham". Kamalascorner.com. Retrieved 1 August 2010. 
  22. ^ brodo di giuggiole
  23. ^ Mill Goetz P. "Demonstration of the psychotropic effect of mother tincture of Zizyphus jujuba" Phytotherapie 2009 7:1 (31-36)
  24. ^ Jiang J.-G., Huang X.-J., Chen J., Lin Q.-S.,"Comparison of the sedative and hypnotic effects of flavonoids, saponins, and polysaccharides extracted from Semen Ziziphus jujube", Natural Product Research 2007 21:4 (310-320)
  25. ^ Mahajan R.T., Chopda M.Z. "Phyto-pharmacology of Ziziphus jujuba mill - A plant review" Mahajan R.T., Chopda M.Z. Pharmacognosy Reviews 2009 3:6 (320–329)
  26. ^ Naftali T., Feingelernt H., Lesin Y., Rauchwarger A., Konikoff F.M. "Ziziphus jujuba extract for the treatment of chronic idiopathic constipation: A controlled clinical trial" Digestion 2008 78:4 (224-228)[1]
  27. ^ Ebrahimi, Sedigheh; Soheil Ashkani Esfahani; Azizollah Poormahmudi (2011). "Investigating the efficacy of Zizyphus jujuba on neonatal jaundice". Iranian Journal of Pediatrics 21 (2): 320–324. 
  28. ^ Taati, Majid; Masoud Alirezaei, Mohamad Hadi Moshkatalsadat, Bahram Rasoulian, Mehrnoush Moghadasi, Farzam Sheikhzadeh, Ali Sokhtezari. (2011). "Protective effects of Ziziphus jujuba fruit extract against ethanol-induced hippocampal oxidative stress and spatial memory impairment in rats". Journal of Medicinal Plants Research 5 (6): 915–921. 
  29. ^ Yoo, Ki-Yeon; Hua Li, In Koo Hwang, Jung Hoon Choi, Choong Hyun Lee, Dae Young Kwon, Shi Yong Ryu, Young Sup Kim, Il-Jun Kang, Hyung-Cheul Shin, and Moo-Ho Won. (2010). "Zizyphus Attenuates Ischemic Damage in the Gerbil Hippocampus via Its Antioxidant Effect". Journal of Medicinal Food 13 (3): 557–563. doi:10.1089/jmf.2009.1254. 
  30. ^ Pahuja, M; Mehla J; Reeta KH; Joshi S; Gupta YK. (2011). "Hydroalcoholic extract of Zizyphus jujuba ameliorates seizures, oxidative stress, and cognitive impairment in experimental models of epilepsy in rats". Epilepsy Behav. 21 (4): 356–363. doi:10.1016/j.yebeh.2011.05.013. 
  31. ^ Ralph E. Carson (2012). The Brain Fix: What's the Matter with Your Gray Matter: Improve Your Memory, Moods, and Mind. HCI Books. p. 157. ISBN 978-0-7573-1629-6. 
  32. ^ Chen, J; Yan AL; Lam KY; Lam CT; Li N; Yao P; Xiong A; Dong TT; Tsim KW (2014). "A chemically standardized extract of Ziziphus jujuba fruit (Jujube) stimulates expressions of neurotrophic factors and anti-oxidant enzymes in cultured astrocytes". Phytotherapy research 28 (11): 1727–30. doi:10.1002/ptr.5202. 
  33. ^ Kurihara, Y. (1992). "Characteristics of antisweet substances, sweet proteins, and sweetness-inducing proteins". Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 32 (3): 231–252. doi:10.1080/10408399209527598. PMID 1418601. 
  34. ^ Martin, Laura C. (2007). Tea: the Drink that Changed the World. Rutland, Vermont: Tuttle. p. 91. ISBN 0-8048-3724-4. 
  35. ^ Fruit Facts: Jujube

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]