Jujube

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Jujube
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Plantae
Division:Magnoliophyta
Class:Magnoliopsida
Order:Rosales
Family:Rhamnaceae
Genus:Ziziphus
Species:Z. zizyphus

Template:Taxobox section binomial botany

The Jujube, Chinese Date, or Tsao (Template:Zh-stp) is a small deciduous tree or shrub in the buckthorn family Rhamnaceae. Its scientific name is Ziziphus zizyphus, synonym Z. jujuba. It is thought to be native to North Africa and Syria, but moved east through India to China, where it has been cultivated for over 4,000 years. The tree can reach a height of 5 to 12 m, is ornamental, with shiny-green leaves, and sometimes thorns. The many inconspicuous flowers are small, greenish or white, and produce an olive-sized fruit that is a drupe. The Indian Jujube, Zizyphus mauritiana, is more tropical in nature and has a lower sugar content than other varieties.

The early-picked fruit is smooth-green, and resembles the consistency and taste of an apple, but as it matures more, the color darkens to purplish-black and it becomes quite wrinkled, when it tastes like a date, hence the name Chinese date. There is a single hard stone, similar to an olive stone. In Persian cuisine, the dried drupes are known as annab.

The tree tolerates a wide range of temperatures, though it requires hot summers for good fruiting. Unlike most of the other species in the genus, it tolerates fairly cold winters, surviving temperatures down to about -15C.

Ziziphin, a compound in the leaves of the jujube, suppresses the ability to perceive sweet taste in humans.

References

  • Fruits in Warm Climates. J. F. Morton, Miami, FL: 1987.de:Jujube

fr:Jujubier commun ja:ナツメ

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