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Jujube Tree

Updated on April 9, 2013
Jujube Tree (Zizphus jujuba)
Jujube Tree (Zizphus jujuba) | Source

Family – Rhamnaceae

Genus – Ziziphus

Species – Ziziphus jujube

Jujubes ~

No, not the fruit flavored candy jujubes but the fruit which has been in existence considerably longer.

Do you know this chestnut looking fruit? Not being familiar with the fruit candy of the same name, I knew I had heard this word before and after racking my brain I remembered where.

If you are a fan of the movie “Dirty Dancing” then you may remember Patrick Swayze uttering

“You don’t understand the way it is, I mean for somebody like me. Last month I am eating jujubes to keep alive . . . and this month women are stuffing diamonds in my pocket”.

Not Quite Ripe Jujube Fruit

is it an apple or a jujube fruit?
is it an apple or a jujube fruit? | Source

History ~

Also known as the Red Date, Chinese Date, Korean Date, Jujuba and Indian Date the Jujube tree is one of 40 different species in the genus Zizphus.

This small thorny tree has been around since biblical times and thought to have originated in Southern Asia and China where it continues to be a most popular fruit.

It is commonly found in Lebanon, Iran, Korea, Madagascar, India and Nepal to name a few.

As it favors a dry mild climate it is commonly found thriving in the Mediterranean countries, Japan, Australasia and has even made its way across to America where it grows well in Florida, California and the south-western region of the country.

There are 400 cultivars of Jujube known to be in existence today.

Under a Jujube Tree

the tree provides welcome shade on a hot summer's day.
the tree provides welcome shade on a hot summer's day. | Source

The Drying Process

rich coloring of the fruit coupled with the shrinking and wrinkling of the skin.
rich coloring of the fruit coupled with the shrinking and wrinkling of the skin. | Source

Jujube Tree ~

The jujube tree is a small deciduous tree or bush that grows to between 5-10 metres (16-33 ft) in height.

Its leaves are small green and shiny and it has small yellowy-green flowers made up of 5 petals.

Many homes in Asia will have the leaves and flowers for their fresh scent to ward off insects and bugs.

The tree, whilst favoring warm dry climates, has the ability to grow and withstand cooler climates growing in temperatures as low as -15C (5F).

As long as this tree has sufficient water for its fruit it is more than happy and requires little maintenance.

It is one of the few species within the Zizphus genus that has the ability to withstand cold temperatures.

Jujube Fruit ~

The tree is grown for its most unusual fruit.

You could be forgiven thinking it to look like a granny smith apple or a small yellow-green apple.

About the size of a golf ball, jujube fruit varies from light yellow to bright green with a firm skin before being fully ripe when it turns brown to purplish and wrinkly, much like a date.

The more mature the fruit, the sweeter it is.

The fruit has inedible pointy shaped seeds and a flavor all of its own that has been likened to a cross between an apple and caramel or even a fig.

The Chinese Date

also known as Jujube ( Zizphus jujuba).
also known as Jujube ( Zizphus jujuba). | Source

Nutritional Benefits ~

This fruit has one of the highest amounts of Vitamin C and has 20 times more than any other citrus fruit. It is rich in calcium, phosphorus and iron with one of the highest amounts of amino acids (18 out of the 24 known ones) in a fruit.

A highly nutritious and healthy fruit, it helps in the formation and maintenance of the immune system, bones, muscle, skin and hair.

The jujube has been used for many medicinal reasons dating back centuries, particularly in China and Korea and now it has caught the attention of the Western world with various researches being conducted in its link to certain health benefits.

Always seek medical advice if pregnant, lactating, are allergy prone or are on medication before introducing a new ingredient into your diet or taking for medicinal purposes.

High in Vitamin C

at the Venice Farmer's Market, USA.
at the Venice Farmer's Market, USA. | Source

Zizphus jujuba

at the markets in Sacramento, California, USA.
at the markets in Sacramento, California, USA. | Source

Health Benefits ~

  • Soothes Sore Throats
  • Strengthens The Immune System
  • Antioxidant Properties
  • Wards off Colds and Flu Virus
  • Relieves Stress
  • Helps Ease Anxiety
  • Blood Purifier
  • Aids Digestion
  • Anti-Ageing Effects on The Skin
  • Lowers High Blood Pressure
  • Reduces Swelling and Redness
  • Treats Wrinkles, Dryness
  • Soothes Sunburn, Itchy Skin
  • Mild Laxative
  • Relieves Diaarhea
  • Energy Booster

Korean Samgyetang

chicken ginseng soup. a whole young chicken is stuffed with rice and boiled in a broth of Korean ginseng, dried seeded jujubes, garlic and ginger.
chicken ginseng soup. a whole young chicken is stuffed with rice and boiled in a broth of Korean ginseng, dried seeded jujubes, garlic and ginger. | Source

Sweet & Sticky

jujube fruits in syrup is a delicacy.
jujube fruits in syrup is a delicacy. | Source

Chicken Soup

with dried Gastrodia Elata, Chinese Yams, Dried Jujube Fruit, Peanuts, Red Kidney Beans and Dried Wolfberry.
with dried Gastrodia Elata, Chinese Yams, Dried Jujube Fruit, Peanuts, Red Kidney Beans and Dried Wolfberry. | Source

Culinary Uses ~

Makes an ideal healthy snack for kids and adults when dried like a date.

Sliced jujubes may be added to salads and even turkey stuffing.

Used in teas and tonics.

Stews, Jams and Syrups may be made.

Substitute raisins or dates with jujubes in muffins, scones and breads.

Use in Chinese chicken soup for a touch of sweetness.

Cultural Traditions ~

In West Bengal and Bangladesh jujube vinegar and jujube juice are popular.

Wine may be made and is called hong zao jiu in China.

Preserved jujubes are stored during winter in China and are used in a wide variety of delicacies.

In Korea a tea is made from jujubes.

The Lebanese enjoy the dried fruit has a snack or accompaniment with dessert at a meal.

In the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, fresh ripe fruit is crushed and combined with tamarind, jaggery, red chillies and salt, dried under the sun and used to make the cake Ilanthai Vadai or Regi Vadiyalu.

Cake of Millet and Jujubes, Peking, China, 1915

a cake of millet and jujubes which was a delicacy for the peasants and coolies in China. For 2 0r 3 coppers they got a nice fat slice.
a cake of millet and jujubes which was a delicacy for the peasants and coolies in China. For 2 0r 3 coppers they got a nice fat slice. | Source

Have you tried this Jujube Fruit before?

See results

Author Info ~

Information on the author, her bio and full body of works available @ Suzie HQ

Credit to homesteadbound ~

All dividers used in this hub are used with permission granted on hub, Creating Dividers to Use on Your Hubs

Jujube Tree Comments

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Honest to God, Suzie, I have never heard of this. I must be the least-traveled writer in the world. The sheer tonnage of stuff I don't know could crush an elephant. LOL Thanks for the education. Excellent job on this hub by the way. :)

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Bill,

      Your knowledge is enormous my friend, you were a geography (my favorite school subject!) teacher after all! i always look forward to your visits and always know you are close by. Thanks so much, glad you found the jujube interesting, there are so many new and wonderful gifts of nature throughout the world and this is one of them.

    • mr-veg profile image

      mr-veg 4 years ago from Colorado United States

      Well when I heard the name Jujube , I was curious to know what it is but when I looked at it, I found that it is the very old Ber grown in India, and used as an pickle, I used to eat it a lot. You will laugh if I say that I had just the Jujube as my dinner one night when I was a kid...:)

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Suzie, you got me on this one also. I've heard of the candy but never the fruit tree? I will have to look and ask about this next trip to the mediterranean area. Do you know if the Jujube is found on Sicily or in Italy?

      Great Hub. It amazes me how many unique and interesting fruits there are that I've never heard of. Voted up, shared, tweeted and pinned.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Well I learned something new today! Never heard of this before!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi mr-veg,

      Many thanks for dropping by. It is great to know you were surprised to see it as one you already knew from your childhood in India! Well if jujubes kept Mr Swayze alive in the movie . . . . who says you can't survive on them for dinner!!! Thanks so much for your input!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Bill,

      Many thanks for your comments, it is always lovely to receive them from you. You should find them in Italy, yes. I was not familiar with them last time I was there but will be searching the markets next time. There are so many amazing fruits and foods we don't get to see and sample so it's nice to at least read about them. Many thanks for all your votes, shares tweets - you are a true friend, Ciao!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Audrey,

      many thanks for your interest! You should be able to find them in CA in the markets and Asian markets as jujubes are grown in California. Hope you get to give them a try, if you like dates you are bound to enjoy these!

    • faythef profile image

      Faythe F. 4 years ago from USA

      Wow interesting article..I have never heard of the jujube tree..When I first saw the title..I thought you were going to tell me that jujube candies grew on trees..they look like little apples..voting up..

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi faythef,

      Many thanks! LOL I had never heard of the candies called jujubes before researching for this article. Yet they are huge! Hope you enjoyed this on the other jujube and may give it a try sometime! Appreciate your votes!

    • srsddn profile image

      srsddn 4 years ago from Dehra Dun, India

      Suzie, first of all let me thank you for creating this Hub. It takes me back to 60's when I used to enjoy jujube (locally called Ber, in Punjabi). We had a big tree in our farm and at least 4 to 5 days a week I used to go there as a school boy. I learnt the word 'Ziziphus jujube' in my first year in college and have not forgotten it as each time I purchase jujube (of course, a different variety) I verbalise it and wife is amused. The attraction of jujube for people (students) can be gauged by an incident which happened about 20 years back and I would like to narrate. I was travelling by a train in Bihar state in India and the train stopped suddenly, there was no railway station around. After about 15 minutes I got down to check as to what happened as it was an unusual way that the train stopped. To my surprise there was a group of about hundred students who were found eating jujube right from the trees. There were dozens of jujube trees alongside the railway track and the students pulled the train to enjoy a free lunch there. So, I have a very strong association with jujube. But thanks for explaining the medicinal value and other uses. These were not known. But sometimes it happens in life unknowingly. Thumbed up and shared.

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi srsddn,

      many thanks for stopping by here! What an interesting story and memories you have of jujube fruit. Imagine pulling a train for a free lunch off the trees, amazing! Love stories such as this and it shows just how popular this fruit is in parts of the world while other's have never seen or heard of it before. i appreciate your comments greatly and look forward to more from you. Cheers for the thumbs up and shared!

    • livingsta profile image

      livingsta 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      Interesting. I have learned about a new fruit today, pleased! I have not heard about these fruits, but may have seen and mistaken them for dates. You have mentioned that they use this fruit in the Indian state of Tamilnadu for a recipe. So there are high chances I might have come across these. Thank you for sharing this with us.

      Votes up and sharing!

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 4 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Very informative hub. I had never heard about Jujube tree. I learn something new here. Suzie, this is amazing, one of your best. The photos are strikingly remarkable. Thank you for another wonderful hub...Voted up and cheers.......

      Prasetio

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi livingsta,

      Hopefully you will cross paths with this fruit and as you say you may have already in India. I thank you as always for your continued interest in my work, it means a great deal. Appreciate your votes and share, have a great day!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Prasetio,

      Always good to see you. Delighted you learnt something new and found this so interesting, I am honored. Many thanks for your lovely comments, they meant much to this writer! Cheers for the thumbs up!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      While I had heard of the Jujube tree I knew absolutely nothing about it. Your range of topics is astounding Suzie, how lucky we aer to have you here.

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      This is interesting, Suzi. I've not heard of this fruit. It certainly sounds healthy. I wonder why the candy is named after this fruit?

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Mary,

      How good to see you! I know you must be busy with the AP so many thanks for your continued support! it is amazing how many incredible fruits are around the globe that many of us never hear about or experience so hopefully here is my little piece of bringing some together. So glad you enjoyed I appreciate your comments votes and energy always!!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi bravewarrior,

      So good of you to drop in. it is funny that I had never heard of the candy as it is not available here and the name jujube is also given to an Italian candy (amazon is truly a maze of information! LOL). The candy first originated in the 19th century but not sure how the name arrived. Many thanks for your interest as always!

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      I have never heard of this but fun to learn about it. Great job as always. Voting up and sharing.

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Carol,

      Many thanks, so many amazing trees, fruits and flowers many of us never get to see. Glad you enjoyed reading! Appreciate the thumbs up as always!

    • janetwrites profile image

      Janet Giessl 4 years ago from Georgia country

      I had fun to learn about this as I have never heard of this fruit before. A wonderful hub as always!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Janet,

      The Jujube is certainly something different and hopefully you will get to try this exotic fruit out. many thanks for commenting and your support!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

      I love learning new things and thanks to you Suzie I now know about the Jujube Tree and its fruit. It would be fun to taste it someday. It sounds good from your description as to its taste. Up, useful and interesting votes and will share and pin.

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Peggy,

      Thanks so much for visiting this hub and for commenting! Delighted to hear you enjoyed learning about this fruit and maybe one day it will cross your path! Appreciate your votes sharing and for pinning so much!!

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