Ziziphus zizyphus
Ziziphus zizyphus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Rosales
Family: Rhamnaceae
Genus: Ziziphus
Species: Z. zizyphus
Binomial name
Ziziphus zizyphus
(L.) H.Karst.

Rhamnus zizyphus
Ziziphus jujuba Mill.

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

Ziziphus zizyphus (from Greek ζίζυφον, zizyfon[1]), commonly called jujube (sometimes jujuba), red date, Chinese date, Korean date, or Indian date is a species of Ziziphus in the buckthorn family Rhamnaceae, used primarily as a fruiting shade tree.



Its precise natural distribution is uncertain due to extensive cultivation, but is thought to be in southern Asia, between Lebanon, Iran, Pakistan, northern India, Bangladesh, Nepal (called as Bayar), the Korean peninsula, and southern and central China, and also southeastern Europe though more likely introduced there.[2]


It is a small deciduous tree or shrub reaching a height of 5–10 m, usually with thorny branches. The leaves are shiny-green, ovate-acute, 2–7-cm wide and 1–3-cm broad, with three conspicuous veins at the base, and a finely toothed margin. The flowers are small, 5-mm wide, with five inconspicuous yellowish-green petals. The fruit is an edible oval drupe 1.5–3-cm 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.[2]

Common Names

Common names in Arabic are nabq, dum, tsal, sadr, zufzuuf (in Morocco) and sidr, the last of which also means Ziziphus lotus.[3] In Persian it is called anab or annab, a name also used in Lebanon. In Bulgaria is primarily grown in the area of the city of Stara Zagora, where is known as henap - probably from Persian through Turkish hünnap . In the Arabian Peninsula the names Sidr or Nabq refer to Ziziphus species other than Z. zizyphus. Also the name Ber in Seraiki, Urdu, Punjabi and Sindhi and parts of India is used for plants and fruits of Ziziphus species other than Z. zizyphus.(ref. Shaukat Ali Chaudhary formerly Curator of National Herbarium of Saudi Arabia)


The species has a curious nomenclatural history, due to a combination of botanical naming regulations, and variations in spelling. It was first described scientifically by Carolus 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 therefore permitted as a botanical name; this combination was made by Hermann Karsten in 1882.[2][4]


Jujube, raw (NDB NO:09146)
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 331 kJ (79 kcal)
Carbohydrates 20.23 g
Fat 0.20 g
Protein 1.20 g
Water 77.86 g
Vitamin A 40 IU
Thiamine (vit. B1) 0.020 mg (2%)
Riboflavin (vit. B2) 0.040 mg (3%)
Niacin (vit. B3) 0.900 mg (6%)
Vitamin B6 0.081 mg (6%)
Vitamin C 69 mg (83%)
Calcium 21 mg (2%)
Iron 0.48 mg (4%)
Magnesium 10 mg (3%)
Phosphorus 23 mg (3%)
Potassium 250 mg (5%)
Sodium 03 mg (0%)
Percentages are relative to US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database
Jujube, dried (NDB NO:09147)
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 1,201 kJ (287 kcal)
Carbohydrates 73.60 g
Fat 1.10 g
Protein 3.70 g
Water 19.70 g
Vitamin A 40 IU
Thiamine (vit. B1) 0.210 mg (18%)
Riboflavin (vit. B2) 0.360 mg (30%)
Niacin (vit. B3) 0.500 mg (3%)
Vitamin B6 0.00 mg (0%)
Vitamin C 13 mg (16%)
Calcium 79 mg (8%)
Iron 1.80 mg (14%)
Magnesium 37 mg (10%)
Phosphorus 100 mg (14%)
Potassium 531 mg (11%)
Sodium 09 mg (1%)
Percentages are relative to US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database

Cultivation and uses

Jujube was domesticated in South Asia by 9000 BCE.[5] 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. This enables the jujube to grow in the mountain desert habitats, provided there is access to underground water through the summer. The species Z.zizyphus 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. (ref. S. Chaudhary. Rhamnaceae in : S. Chaudhary (Edit.). Flora of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Vol II(Part One) 2001.

Medicinal use

The fruits are used in Chinese and Korean traditional medicine, where they are believed to alleviate stress,[6] and traditionally for antifungal, antibacterial, antiulcer, anti-inflammatory, sedative,[7] antispastic, antifertility/contraception, hypotensive and Antinephritic, cardiotonic, antioxidant, immunostimulant, and wound healing properties.[8] "The jujube-based Australian drink 1-bil avoids making specific stress-related claims, but does suggest drinking 1-bil "when you feel yourself becoming distressed".[9] The plant may help prevent impairment of hippocampal memory.[10][11] A controlled clinical trial found the fruits helpful for chronic constipation.[12] In another clinical trial, Zizyphus jujuba was proved to be effective against neonatal jaundie [13]. A leaf extract showed anti-obese activity in rats.[14] In Persian traditional medicine it is used to treat colds and Flu in combination with other herbal medicine.

Ziziphin, a compound in the leaves of the jujube, suppresses the ability to perceive sweet taste in humans.[15] The fruit, being mucilaginous, is very soothing to the throat and decoctions of jujube have often been used in pharmacy to treat sore throats.

Fresh jujube fruits.

Culinary use

Dried jujube fruits, which naturally turn red upon drying.

The freshly harvested as well as the candied dried fruits are often eaten as a snack, or with tea. They are available in either red or black (called hóng zǎo or hēi zǎo, respectively, in Chinese), the latter being smoked to enhance their flavor.[16] In China and Korea, a sweetened tea syrup containing jujube fruits is available in glass jars,[17] and canned jujube tea or jujube tea in the form of teabags is also available. Although not widely available, jujube juice[18] and jujube vinegar[19] (called or 红枣 in Chinese) are also produced; they are used for making pickles (কুলের আচার) in West Bengal and Bangladesh.

In China, a wine made from jujubes, called hong zao jiu (红枣酒) is also produced.[20] Jujubes are sometimes preserved by storing 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 "spirited jujube"). These fruits, often stoned, are also a significant ingredient in a wide variety of Chinese delicacies. In Korea, jujubes are called daechu (대추) and are used in teas and samgyetang.

In Lebanon, the fruit is eaten as snacks or alongside a dessert after a meal.

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. Z. zizyphus grows in norhern Pakistan and is known as Innab, commonly used in the Tibb Unani system of medicine. There seems to be quite a widespred confusion in the common name. The Innab is Z. zizyphus: the local name Ber is not used for Innab. Rather Ber is used for three other cultivated or wild species i.e. 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. The Arabic names Sidr is used for Ziziphus species other than Z. zizyphus. The most expensive honey in the world is produced from Z. spina-christi in the Hadramaut region of Yemen! (ref. Personal knowledge of Shaukat A. Chaudhary formely Curator National Herbarium of Saudi Arabia)

Jujube fruit is called ilanthappazham(ഇലന്തപ്പഴം) or badari(ബദരി) in Malayalam, ilanthai pazham (இலந்தை பழம்) in Tamil-speaking regions, "Yelchi Hannu" in Kannada and "Regi pandu" in Telugu. Traditionally, the fruits are dried in the sun and the hard nuts are removed. Then, it is pounded with tamarind, red chillies, salt, and jaggery. Small dishes are made from this dough and again dried in the sun, and are referred to as ilanthai vadai. 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 delicious cakes called ilanthai vadai or "Regi Vadiyalu" (Telugu).[21]

Other uses

The jujube's sweet smell is believed to make teenagers fall in love, and as a result, in the Himalaya and Karakoram regions, men take a stem of sweet-smelling jujube flowers with them or put it on their hats to attract women.[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".

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

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, and also to nightlights (ナツメ球), again due to the similarity between the shape of the bulb and the fruit.

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.

In Vietnam, the jujube fruit is eaten freshly picked from the tree as a snack. It is also dried and used in desserts, such as sâm bổ lượng, a cold beverage that includes the dried jujube, longan, fresh seaweed, barley, and lotus seeds.

A jujube honey is produced in the middle Atlas Mountains of Morocco.

Pests and diseases

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.[22]


  1. ^ ζίζυφον, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus Digital Library
  2. ^ a b c Rushforth, K. (1999). Trees of Britain and Europe. Collins ISBN 0-00-220013-9.
  3. ^ Amots Dafni, Shay Levy, Efraim Lev (2005). "The ethnobotany of Christ's Thorn Jujube (Ziziphus spina-christi) in Israel". Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine 1 (8): 8. doi:10.1186/1746-4269-1-8. PMC 1277088. PMID 16270941. http://www.ethnobiomed.com/content/1/1/8. Retrieved 2010-06-05. 
  4. ^ Clarke, D. L. (1988). W. J. Bean Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles, Supplement. John Murray ISBN 0-7195-4443-2.
  5. ^ Gupta, Anil K. in 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.
  6. ^ Mill Goetz P. "Demonstration of the psychotropic effect of mother tincture of Zizyphus jujuba" Phytotherapie 2009 7:1 (31-36)
  7. ^ 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 Produ ct Research 2007 21:4 (310-320)
  8. ^ 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)
  9. ^ Information on 1-mil from the company's website[dead link]
  10. ^ In Koo Hwang, Ki-Yeon Yoo, Dae Young Yoo, Jung Hoon Choi, Choong Hyun Lee, Il-Jun Kang, Dae Young Kwon, Young Sup Kim, Dong-Woo Kim, Moo-Ho Won,"Zizyphus Enhances Cell Proliferation and Neuroblast Differentiation in the Subgranular Zone of the Dentate Gyrus in Middle-Aged Mice" Journal of Medicinal Food. March 2011: 195-200.
  11. ^ Ki-Yeon Yoo, 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, Moo-Ho Won "Zizyphus Attenuates Ischemic Damage in the Gerbil Hippocampus via Its Antioxidant Effect",Journal of Medicinal Food. June 2010: 557-563.
  12. ^ 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)
  13. ^ 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. http://journals.tums.ac.ir/abs/19246. 
  14. ^ Ganachari M.S., Kumar S., Alagawadi K.R. "Anti-obese activity of Ziziphus jujuba lam leaves extract in dietary obese rats." Journal of Natural Remedies 2007 7:1 (102-108
  15. ^ Kurihara, Y. 1992. Characteristics of antisweet substances, sweet proteins, and sweetness-inducing proteins. Crit. Rev. Food Sci. Nutr. 32:231-252.
  16. ^ "Rare Fruit: Jujubes". Seasonalchef.com. http://www.seasonalchef.com/jujubes.htm. Retrieved 2010-08-01. 
  17. ^ [1][dead link]
  18. ^ [2][dead link]
  19. ^ Picture of a bottle
  20. ^ [3][dead link]
  21. ^ "Kamala's Corner: Indian Jujube - Elanthai Pazham". Kamalascorner.com. http://www.kamalascorner.com/2008/12/indian-jujube-elanthai-pazham.html. Retrieved 2010-08-01. 
  22. ^ Fruit Facts: Jujube

Further reading

  • Fruits of Warm Climates. Julia. F. Morton, Miami, FL: 1987.

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • jujube — [ ʒyʒyb ] n. m. • jajube 1256; altér. lat. zizyphum, gr. zizuphon 1 ♦ Fruit du jujubier. 2 ♦ Pâte extraite de ce fruit (remède contre la toux). ● jujube nom masculin (latin zizyphum, du grec dzidzuphon) Fruit du jujubier, drupe rouge à maturité,… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Jujube — Ju jube (j[=u] j[ u]b), n. [F., fr. L. zizyphum, Gr. zi zyfon, Per. z[=i]zf[=u]n, zizaf[=u]n, zayzaf[=u]n.] 1. The sweet and edible drupes (fruits) of several Mediterranean and African species of small trees, of the genus {Zizyphus}, especially… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • jujube — JUJUBE: On ne sait pas avec quoi c est fait …   Dictionnaire des idées reçues

  • jujube — (n.) late 14c., date like fruit from a tree found in Asia, from M.L. jujuba (pl.), from L.L. zizyphum, from zizyphus, an Asiatic tree with datelike fruit, from Gk. zizyphon, from Pers. zayzafun. The meaning soft candy with date like flavor first… …   Etymology dictionary

  • jujube — JUJUBE. s. f. Sorte de fruit presque semblable à la cornouïlle, & qui sert en Medecine. Jujubes blanches. jujubes rouges. syrop de jujubes. Il n est guere en usage qu au pluriel …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • jujube — [jo͞o′jo͞ob΄; ] for 3, often [ jo͞o′jo͞o bē΄] n. [Fr < ML jujuba < L zizyphum < Gr zizyphon] 1. the edible, datelike fruit of any of several trees and shrubs (genus Zizyphus) of the buckthorn family, growing in warm climates 2. a tree or …   English World dictionary

  • jujube — (ju ju b ) s. f. Fruit du jujubier, qui consiste en un noyau et une enveloppe pulpeuse. Les jujubes sont employées en pharmacie comme pectorales et adoucissantes.    S. m. Le jujube, le suc extrait de la jujube.    Pâte de jujube, préparation qui …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • Jujube — paprastasis zizifas statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Šunobelinių šeimos vaisinis, vaistinis augalas (Ziziphus jujuba), paplitęs Azijoje. atitikmenys: lot. Rhamnus zizyphus; Ziziphus jujuba; Ziziphus jujuba var. spinosa; Ziziphus sativa;… …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • jujube — paprastasis zizifas statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Šunobelinių šeimos vaisinis, vaistinis augalas (Ziziphus jujuba), paplitęs Azijoje. atitikmenys: lot. Rhamnus zizyphus; Ziziphus jujuba; Ziziphus jujuba var. spinosa; Ziziphus sativa;… …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • JUJUBE — Two species of jujube grow wild in Israel: the wild jujube (Zizyphus spina Christi) and the lotus jujube (Zizyphus lotus). The former is a tall tropical tree with dense, prickly branches (from which, according to Christian tradition, Jesus crown… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

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