Tropical and subtropical trees and shrubs, which may be evergreen or deciduous. Branches may be spiny in some species, with double thorns - one hooked and one straight per node. Shiny green alternate leaves, usually with 3 prominent veins from leaf base. Small flowers are not significant, but come in axillary clusters, in cream, white, yellow, greenish tones. Small fleshy fruit are sometimes edible. Best known species is Ziziphus jujuba, the jujube, cultivated in China since antiquity.
Best grown in a sunny spot in well drained deep soil that retains moisture and has good drainage. Needs strong wind protection. Water regularly during growing season. Prune tips if you want to keep it compact.
From seed or by rooting cuttings. Named fruiting cultivars can be obtained from grafting.
Pests and diseases
The larvae of some Lepidoptera species eat Ziziphus species, they include Bucculatrix zizyphella, which feeds only on Ziziphus, as well as Endoclita malabaricus.
Ziziphus is a genus of about 40 (according to Wikipedia) or 80 (according to Flora) species.
- Flora: The Gardener's Bible, by Sean Hogan. Global Book Publishing, 2003. ISBN 0881926248