Slightly More Unusual Medical Herb Seeds. > JuJube, Chinese.
JuJube, Chinese.

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What are Jujube Seeds? Jujube is commonly known as Chinese red dates from a tree that averages 25 feet in height. The date like fruits turns red and wrinkled when ripen.

Where do Jujube Seeds grow? Originated from China and cultivated worldwide. Jujube is best when used in soup recipes with Ginseng.

Benefits: For centuries, the Chinese have used Jujube for its relaxation properties for calming the heart and spirit. The Jujube seeds have been found to have muscle relaxing properties, reduces blood pressure, and relieves insomnia.

 

Growth Habit: The jujube is a small, deciduous tree, growing to 40 feet tall in Florida, but smaller in size in California. The naturally drooping tree is graceful, ornamental and often thorny with branches growing in a zig-zag pattern. The wood is very hard and strong. Jujube cultivars vary in size and conformation, with some being very narrow in habit and others being more widespread. One cultivar, the So, seems to be fairly dwarfing in habit. After 30 years of growth in an average site, trees can be 30 feet tall with a crown diameter of up to 15 feet. Plants send up suckers (often with intimidating spines) from their roots, and these suckers can appear many feet from the mother plant. Currently, these root suckers must be controlled by mowing or hoeing.

 

Foliage: The small, ovate or oval leaves are 1-2 inches long and a shiny bright green. In the autumn, the leaves turn bright yellow before falling. There are usually two spines at the base of each leaf. Some spines may be hooked while others are long daggers. Virtually thornless cultivars are known. As the growing season commences, each node of a woody branch produces one to ten branchlets. Most of these are deciduous, falling from the plant in autumn.

 

Flowers: The inconspicuous, 1/5 inch diameter, white to greenish-yellow flowers are somewhat fragrant and produced in large numbers in the leaf axils. The flowering period extends over several months from late spring into summer. However, individual flowers are receptive to pollen for only one day or less. Pollination needs of the jujube are not clearly defined, but appear to be done by ants or other insects and possibly by the wind. Most jujube cultivars produce fruit without cross-pollination . The jujube is well protected from late spring frosts by delayed budding until all chance of cold weather has passed.

 

Fruit: The fruit is a drupe, varying from round to elongate and from cherry-size to plum-size depending on cultivar. It has a thin, edible skin surrounding whitish flesh of sweet, agreeable flavor. The single hard stone contains two seeds. The immature fruit is green in color, but as it ripens it goes through a yellow-green stage with mahogany-colored spots appearing on the skin as the fruit ripens further. The fully mature fruit is entirely red. Shortly after becoming fully red, the fruit begins to soften and wrinkle. The fruit can be eaten after it becomes wrinkled, but most people prefer them during the interval between the yellow-green stage and the full red stage. At this stage the flesh is crisp and sweet, reminiscent of an apple. Under dry conditions jujubes lose moisture, shrivel and become spongy inside. Tests in Russia indicate a very high vitamin C content. The fruit has been used medicinally for millennia by many cultures. One of its most popular uses is as a tea for sore throat

 5 seeds.

Note. Chinese jujube (Zizyphus spinosa) seeds do not require any special treatment such as stratification to promote germination. We find that that they readily germinate at room temperature.

 

SELECTED RECIPES

 Jujube Cake.

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 cups dried, minced jujube
  • 1 cup water

Bring these to a boil then set aside to cool

  • 2 cups wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoonful soda
  • 1/2 teaspoonful salt

Sift these together then add to the above mixture. Bake at 325° F

Candied Jujubes

Wash about 3 pounds dried jujubes; drain and prick each several times with a fork. In a kettle bring to a boil 5 cups water, 5-1/2 cups sugar, and 1 tablespoon corn starch. Add the jujubes and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Cool, cover, and chill overnight.

The next day bring syrup and jujubes to a boil and simmer, uncovered, 30 minutes. With a slotted spoon lift jujubes from syrup and place slightly apart on rimmed pans. Dry in oven, or in sun for about 2 to 3 days. Check fruit frequently and turn fruit occasionally until the jujubes are like the dates ones sees in the market.

Jujube Syrup

Boil syrup remaining from the Candied Jujubes, uncovered, until reduced to about 2 cups. Use over pancakes and waffles. Store in the refrigerator.

Other uses: Substitute the dried jujube wherever recipes call for raisins or dates. Dried jujubes are a wonderful snack that can be prepared without the use of any preservative as is so commonly needed for other dried fruits.