Jujube, Chinese date

Zizyphus jujuba Miller

Rhamnaceae (Buckthorn family)


Jujube, sometimes called Chinese date, is a small deciduous tree with both recurve (cat claw like) and straight thorns. It has bark that is thin, smooth, and gray with shallow furrows. Its leaves are shiny with slightly scalloped edges on zigzag branches. It grows aggressively in thickets from underground rhizomes.

In May, singular or sometimes small clusters of flowers emerge from the base of the leaves. Its cherry to plum sized fruit turns from green to brown.


Jujube is an exotic invasive species and is found in various soil types including alkaline soils.