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Ziziphus Jujuba

DinahDinah Posts: 294
I have grown 4 of these from two different sets of seeds. Of the plants I have, 3 have spines one has not. One of the three with spines has different coloured leaves - pale green while the others are lime green. Of the two left, one has longish, pointed leaves while the other has shorter, roundish leaves. All the seeds looked the same, except that one batch were smaller than the others.

Does this plant have a great many genetic types or varients, are they males and femails of two different varients, or are they responding to some other environmentl condition? They are all the same age, and sat on the same windowsill to grow. I am really quite puzzled. Anybody know??



  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,512
    I have several of these behind my garage - not planted by me. They have vicious thorns, are self-fertile, invasive and seed everywhere. The seedlings are really tough and deep-rotted and are extremely difficult to get rid of, even when very small. There is a spiny variety, but am pretty sure mine is Z. Jujube, and lots of different types so it’s possible you have different strains. Not something I would recommend planting in a garden, I wish I didn’t have them! 

    ps- suffering internet gremlins at present, just lost a draft of this, so if you get two similar responses from me that’s why.
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 3,145
    edited August 2018
    Ignore this , made a right mess !
  • DinahDinah Posts: 294
    Hello Nollie, I love the fruit but we can't get it up here in the North, so I am going to grow it for myself. I like all sorts of fruit from all over the place, and use it for savory dishes as much as well, actually more than for sweet foods. My nectarine curry is my best and favorite dish. Our main homegrown fruit here is blackberry, but they are a bit limited for curry, though a chutney is possible. Some raspberries grow here but they are usually poor crops. The seasons are cut off at each end with the short day length, so any fruit that will grow would be a great. :)
    Probably the zyziphus won't do very well because of the salt winds, wet and cold, but I have some sheltered, sunny spots that might be OK. It will certainly be limited in it's ambitions by the weather. The news that it has lots of different strains is good, because that means I am more likely to get one that will survive and fruit. Thankyou for that information, and the self-fertile bit is very usefull, I can try them in different parts of the garden to find the best. :)

    Paul, I always value your opinions and knowledge, and am now determined to find out what you would have said if the web-site had not been playing up last night. :D

  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 3,145
    Hello both !
    As Dinah says , I think cultivation is climatically limited in the UK . In the 1980's we tried it in a greenhouse in North Yorkshire . 
    My mentor at the time (Roy) liked to experiment with plants of all genera ; obtaining seeds  of Zizyphus jujuba , it germinated well and made a moderate sized shrub .Our primary interests were (of course) , S.American cacti and unusual succulents .

    Although not particularly a fruit eater myself , I recall trying a fruit which had the semblance of a dark plum , but the texture and taste similar to an apple .At the time I knew next to nothing of its numerous cultivars (200+ now I believe) .

    The plant survived well until the incredible cold spell of January 1980/81 where the village the nursery was situated saw several consecutive nights of -22 Centigrade !!!!
    Daytime we reached the balmy heights of -18 C !

    Set near the base of a 1000' escarpment , cold air flowed down from the N.York Moors into the valley (not a wise location for a cactus nursery :o ) .
    To cut a long story short , most of the stock plants and almost all the private collection were devastated , including the Zizyphus .
    Shortly afterwards the nursery went into liquidation , job fell through and that was that .
    Apologies for no particularly valuable info regarding cultivation .

    Nollie  ; I sympathise with your battle with the seedlings . Some areas of the world , particularly dry tropical , have become almost infested with this plant .

  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,512
    Ah, so you are up north, Dinah, I am sure it will be much less invasive than mine, then, but watch out for those seedlings!

    Paul B3, what a shame about the nursery, I know it can get a bit parky in Yorkshire, but -22  :o
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 3,145
    People often think I am exagerrating when I tell them about these temperatures ; Roy had begun the nursery in the early 70's at the appropriately named Sutton-under-Whitestonecliffe , near Thirsk .
    I think there must have been times when he wished the nursery wasn't under the 'Whitestonecliffe' :).
    Being an ex-meteorologist based at Stoke-on-Trent , he had kept all his weather instuments etc. , all calibrated thermometers and the like , so all readings he took were 100% accurate .
    I recall with trepidation one morning when I couldn't open the caravan door (I lived in on-site) from the inside because the inner walls were covered in frost !!! My kettle and toilet had frozen solid ! Luckily for me , Vodka and a thick sleeping bag kept me fairly warm ;)
    Several dead blackbirds were scattered around the car park , frozen overnight into grotesque parodies of their former selves .
    The greenhouse heaters (sods law) all failed on the three coldest nights (as they do), so temperatures in them stayed at around -17C for several days .

    Good times indeed ! :o
  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,512
    I get that, Paul, people never believe me either when I tell them that despite scorching summers, our winters are pretty much like the UK and we need heating at least six months of the year -February:

    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 3,145
    Sounds almost like a continental climate !
    My father was Russian ; he used to say summers there reached +35C ; winters dropped to -35C .
    Extreme indeed !
  • DinahDinah Posts: 294
    Hello Paul and Nollie, I've just returned to my computer, sorry I didn't reply streight away.
    I have powerful memories of that very cold spell! I nearly got killed rescueing a very, very fat dog from the path of an oncoming car on a sharp bend. The thing had slid down a mound of snow by the roadside, and wasn't able to get up out of ruts in the ice, so I jumped down and tried to grab hold of it. It was so fat that I couldn't get a grip on it! I could hear the car getting closer, and see the headlights reflected in the snow! In the end I pushed the animal up the banked snow with my sholders, and lay flat against the bank. The car past so close that I felt it brush by my bum - I don't think it even saw me. After I thought what a fool - what would my family have thought about it? These things look so obviouse in retrospect.

    The dead blackbirds show how very, very cold it must have been, yes indeed. There were Ice storms too if I recall, my parents house had a sheet of ice over the door and roadside wall, which looked like a sheet of thick glass, it had to be chizzled out, also the telephone wires came down in several places. On the estate were we lived all the electic was out, but we were lucky because we had refused the modernisations that got rid of the fireplaces. We were the only people with a nice warm fire.

    I will keep my seedlings in pots, that way I can move them indoors if there is harsh weather. It is rare here by the sea, but one winter we had weeks of being cut off compleatly by 10 foot  snow drifts along the roads starting on the 14th of March, and we had hellicopter air drops of food and medications. The drifts didn't melt until the first of May. You can never guess what you are going to get, or when these days!

    The cactus nursery sounded like a good idea - but yes it was probably, a tiny bit miss-placed.

    I didn't realise that Spain got that kind of weather. I knew that the Mistrale came down through France bringing freezing winds, but I imagined that it would have warmed up a bit by the time it got to Spain, obviously not.

    My Dad could speak Russian, he was self taught and could read it quite well too. I wish I'd asked him to teach me, but you don't think of these things when you are a child.

  • DinahDinah Posts: 294
    Nollie, I just thought about my big, big perennial cabbage plants that I grew from seed which came from Spain. They have survived all the winters here perfectly well. I should have thought of it before. I will watch out for the ziziphus self seeding - thank you for the advice! :)

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