Jujube is one of those plants now relegated to the list of ancient fruits, less and less widespread in cultivation, unfortunately always less appreciated as a fruit plant; in reality it is a plant cultivated by man for millennia, in Africa, Asia and also in Europe, where it was imported in ancient times by the Romans. Its botanical name is Zizyphus jujuba.
Jujube is a beautiful fruit plant, also very suitable to be grown as an ornamental plant. It is a small tree, which usually does not exceed 3-4 meters in height; the bark is wrinkled and the branches have a tortuous and twisted development, often hanging, the branches have numerous large very sharp thorns; the foliage is deciduous, consisting of pinnate leaves, composed of small oval leaves, bright green, shiny and slightly leathery.
In late spring or early summer it produces a profusion of small white flowers, followed by the fruits, similar to olives, edible.
Jujubes ripen in late summer, or during the first weeks of autumn; they are light green in color and are generally edible even when they are unripe; at first slightly sweet, they become increasingly sweet as the skin darkens; over the weeks the jujube pulp shrivels, but remains edible and very sweet.
Cultivation of jujubes
Zizyphus jujuba plants are easy to grow; they do not fear the cold and can endure very intense and lasting frosts, therefore they can find a place in the garden, in the open ground; they are very slow growing plants, also suitable for small gardens. When planting them, mix the soil with mature manure or slow release granular fertilizer, and repeat this operation at the foot of the plant every year in spring.
THE GIUGGIOLO IN BRIEF
Family, genus, species: Rhamnaceae, Ziziphus jujuba
Plant type: Fruit tree or shrub
Height: From 1 to 10 meters
Years for fruiting: At least 2
Exposure: Full sun
Minimum temperature: -15 ° c
Ideal climate: Mediterranean
Ground: Poor, sandy or stony
soil pH: From alkaline to neutral
Soil humidity: Dry, well drained
irrigation: Only in summer
Propagation: Sowing, cutting, grafting