Indian Jujube

Ziziphus mauritiana

Synonyms -

Family: - Rhamnaceae

Names:

Ziziphus is Greek and the name given by Pliny the Elder to the Jujube tree which was probably Z. lotus of Homerian legend that induced a drugged indolent state upon eating.

Mauritiana refers to the island of Mauritius where it may have been first collected.

Other Names:

Ber (India)

Chinee Apple is possibly a reference to the Chinese who may have introduced it to Queensland during the gold rushes in the 1860's.

Chinese Date

Macaniqueira

M'sau

Saucunazi

Zornia

Summary:

Description:

A perennial, spiny shrub or tree to 6 m high and 10 m wide with alternate, glossy, strongly veined leaves and fruit with firm white flesh and a wooden stone

Cotyledons:

Two.

First leaves:

Leaves:

Alternate

Stipules -

Petiole - Short.

Blade - Elliptical and asymmetric at the base. Glossy green on top and covered with white to rusty coloured hairs underneath. Strongly veined. Tip pointed. Edges curved and toothed. Base tapered to squarish.

Stems:

Zig zag form with a leaf and large thorn at each joint.

Often densely branched from the base.

Flower head:

Clustered in the leaf axils.

Flowers:

Green, small, inconspicuous, fragrant

Ovary -

Sepals -

Petals -

Stamens -

Anthers -

Fruit:

Sub globular, pale yellow to brown when mature, 30 mm long with firm white flesh that has an apple flavour and a large, woody core or stone.

Seeds:

Sub globular with a hard stony outer skin.

Roots:

Spreading and deep.

Key Characters:


Biology:

Life cycle:

Perennial. Seeds germinate in the wet summer season and grow over summer.

Physiology:

Reproduction:

By seed.

Flowering times:

January to June in Australia.

Seed Biology and Germination:

Probably has an after ripening period but seed removed from the stone when mature will germinate immediately.

Vegetative Propagules:

Hybrids:

Allelopathy:

Population Dynamics and Dispersal:

Spread by birds and animals that eat the fruit and distribute the seed in their droppings.

Origin and History:

Native to Eastern Africa, the India Ocean Islands and Southern Asia.

First recorded in SA in1842, then the Torres Strait Islands in 1863 and then collected in Townsville in 1916.

Distribution:

ACT, NSW, NT, QLD, SA, TAS, VIC, WA.


Courtesy Australia's Virtual Herbarium.

Habitats:

Often occurs around old mining sites, settlements and along stock routes.

Disturbed areas and neglected pastures.

Climate:

Sub humid to semi arid tropical and subtropical areas with a distinct dry season.

Soil:

Plant Associations:

Significance:

Beneficial:

Edible fruit that is eaten raw or in jams and pies.

Cultivate in India, Sri Lanka and east to Burma.

Grown as an ornamental in the NT.

Used in Hindu folk medicine. The leaves used as a poultice for urinary dysfunction, the roots in decoctions against fever or as a powder for dressing wounds and ulcers. The bark reduces diarrhoea and the fruit checks bleeding, purifies the blood and helps digestion.

Detrimental:

Weed of disturbed areas and stock routes.

It can form inpenetrable thickets limiting stock movements and access to water.

Toxicity:

Not recorded as toxic.

Symptoms:

Treatment:

Legislation:

Declared plant of NT, Qld and WA.

Management and Control:

Thresholds:

Eradication strategies:

Mechanically remove trees or

Spray foliage with glyphosate or

Cut and immediately paint the stumps with triclopyr is diesel or

Use triclopyr plus picloram (e.g. Grazon®) in diesel as a basal bark application to the lower 50 cm of trunks.

Hexazinone is ineffective.

Herbicide resistance:

None reported.

Biological Control:

Related plants:

Ziziphus quadrilocularis is a native plant from the Kimberly

Plants of similar appearance:

Honey Locust (Gleditsia triacanthos) has leaves with leaflets (bipinnate).

References:

Bodkin, F. (1986). Encyclopaedia Botanica. (Angus and Robertson, Australia).

Everist, S.L. (1974). Poisonous Plants of Australia. (Angus and Robertson, Sydney).

Hussey, B.M.J., Keighery, G.J., Cousens, R.D., Dodd, J. and Lloyd, S.G. (2007). Western Weeds. A guide to the weeds of Western Australia. (Second Edition). Plant Protection Society of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia. P224-225. Photo.

Lazarides, M. and Cowley, K. and Hohnen, P. (1997). CSIRO handbook of Australian Weeds. (CSIRO, Melbourne). 1075.2

Parsons, W.T. and Cuthbertson, E.G. (1992) Noxious weeds of Australia. (Inkata Press, Melbourne). P564-565. Photos

Paczkowska, G. and Chapman, A. (2000). The Western Australia flora: a descriptive catalogue. (Wildflower Society of Western Australia (Inc), the Western Australian Herbarium, CALM and the Botanic Gardens & Parks Authority). P511.

Randall, J.M. and Marinelli, J. (1996) Invasive Plants. (Brooklyn Botanic Gardens Inc. Brooklyn). P. Photo.

Acknowledgments:

Collated by HerbiGuide. Phone 08 98444064 or www.herbiguide.com.au for more information.