Never heard of a jujube? Join the crowd, here in the states this is a little known fruit. But over the years we have had a wide variety of people visit the nursery and I am always astonished to find how many people from countries other than the states know about jujube. This delectable native of China has been cultivated for over 4,000 years, in it’s native country it is highly regarded with over 400 named varieties in cultivation. Over time this fruit has traveled and is enjoyed as a commercial and door yard tree in Russia, Northern Africa, Southern Europe, and the Middle East. It goes under several names as you travel the world red dates, Chinese dates, Korean dates, or Indian dates. Jujube have been hybridized to create a range of flavors and textures. It’s reputation in the states got a very bad start as most of the first varieties to be introduced were drying types. The drying type are good but they only achieve their rich flavor once they are dried. Over time some of the better fresh eating selections have finally made their way here. Unlike the drying varieties which have less juice the fresh type have a crisp apple like texture and sprightly flavor.
As well as being tasty, jujube are quite good for you. Medical studies have found that jujube fruits and extracts have the capacity to help lower blood pressure, reverse liver disease, treat anemia, and inhibit the growth of tumor cells that can lead to leukemia. Jujube extracts are also used in skin care products, they are used to diminish wrinkles, relieve dry skin, and treat sunburn pain Jujubes fruit have have calming properties, when eaten. They are a good source of natural antioxidants, and can help promote relaxation, maintain liver function, limit free radical damage, maintain cholesterol levels already within the normal range, and even treat hair loss.
All this and a tree that is practically trouble. They are one of the easiest, most problem-free fruits you can grow – best described as indestructible. They will grow in a wide range of climates hot and cold, thrive in dry areas with poor soil. A little care will go a long way with this tree.
Jujubes like well-drained soils and part to full sun. They are remarkably non-fussy to grow and the full-sized varieties make great shade trees. The tree will obtain a height of 30 feet and favors River Willow, with shiny, emerald green leaves. Spring brings long chains of small, fragrant, yellow, star-like flowers. A fantastic shade tree all summer long and in the fall the leaves turn a rich yellow before dropping. Jujubes are self-pollinating
- Lightly prick the skin of 2 cups of ripe Jujube.
- Fill a mason jar with fruit and top with honey.
- Seal and place to marinate in the refrigerator for one week.
- Take out and place on a cookie sheet. Place in a low heat oven (about 200 degrees) and dehydrate until thoroughly dried.
- Roll in confectioners sugar, and eat `em like crazy!
Jujube Trees - Jujuba Varieties (Ziziphus jujuba)
Buying and Growing Tips…
Jujube fruit are a staple food in many countries around the world. They dry and store easily and are highly nutritious. No pest is known to effect jujubes so they are a permaculture or organic gardeners dream fruit.
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