Ziziphus spp.
Family: Rhamnaceae
Ziziphus image
ASU Fruit & Seed Collection  
PLANT: Armed shrubs (in ours). STEMS: several to many, becoming dense with age, divaricate, rigid; bark smooth to lightly furrowed to striate; twigs canescent to glabrate to glaucous; bud scales absent. LEAVES: deciduous or evergreen, alternate or fascicled, petiolate; blades elliptic to linear-oblong to ovate, pinnately-veined, entire to crenate to serrate, glabrate to canescent; stipules brown. INFLORESCENCE: of axillary clusters. FLOWERS: perfect, pedicellate; hypanthium hemispheric; sepals, triangular; petals 5; stamens 5; style 2-lobed. FRUITS: 1-seeded drupes. NOTES: 150 spp. worldwide (1 in AZ), in warmer parts of the Old and New world. (from zizufun, a Persian word, from which the an ancient Greek name is dervived). The fruits of Ziziphus jujuba are edible and used either fresh, dried or preserved in cooking and candy making. Ziziphus jujuba was collected in the Tonto National Forest in Gila Co. in 1992. Natural recruitment of the escaped cultivar occurred near a campground. The tree, Z. jujuba, may be distinguished from Z. obtusifolia by its larger glossy serrate leaves, which are usually 2-5 cm long, and its paired recurved stipular spines. REFERENCES: Kyle Christie, Michael Currie, Laura Smith Davis, Mar-Elise Hill, Suzanne Neal, and Tina Ayers, 2006 Vascular Plants of Arizona: Rhamnaceae. CANOTIA 2(1): 23-46.