Ziziphus mauritiana

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Ziziphus mauritiana Lam.

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Order Rosales
Family Rhamnaceae
Genus Ziziphus

2n = 48, 96

Origin : India

wild and cultivated

English Indian jujube
French jujubier tropical / jujube

Usages summary
  • young leaves as vegetable (Indonesia)
  • fruit eaten raw, dried or in juice
  • leaves as fodder
  • medicinal
  • timber and firewood
  • bark: dye and tannin
  • ornamental
  • planted in living fence, shade tree and windbreak


  • spiny tree 2,5-15 m high, deciduous, with zig-zag branches
  • leaves alternate, elliptical, slightly dentate, 2-9 cm long, with 3 ribs from the base, pubescent beneath
  • flowers axillary, greenish, in fascicles by 7-20
  • fruit: ovoid drupe, 2-4,5 cm long according to cultivars, yellow to red and brown

Cultivars are tetraploid (4x = 48) or octoploid (4x = 96).

Popular names

  • Swahili: mkunazi
  • African languages : bagende, bu sédem, darey, deem, dim, gic, ingic, jaabé, jaabi, magunuga, muegunga, mufniga, mugulanga, nged, ngic, ngit, sideem, sédeem, tôbôrô
  • Chinese: zǎo shù
  • Malayalam: ഇലന്തപ്പഴം - ilanthappazham , ബദരി - badari
  • Tamil: இலந்தை பழம் - ilanthai pazham , எளந்தை - elandha
  • Kannada: yelchi hannu
  • Marathi: bir
  • Hindi: banber
  • Urdu: بير - ber
  • Penjabi: amlai, barari, simli, singli
  • Sanskrit: बद्री - badri
  • Persian: zizafun, zizfum
  • Tagalog: manzanitas (PROSEA)
  • Thai: phutsaa (central), ma tan (northern) (PROSEA)
  • Viet: tao, tao nhuc (PROSEA)
  • Cambodia: putrea (PROSEA)
  • Burma: zee-pen (PROSEA)
  • Laos: than (PROSEA)
  • Indonesia: widara, dara, bidara. Malaysia: bidara, jujub, epal siam (PROSEA)


Ziziphus mauritiana Lam. (1789)

  • Lamarck (3, 319) gives as French name: Jujubier de l'Isle de France. In consequence, the epithet mauritiana means "of Mauritius island".


  • Rhamnus jujuba L. (1753)
  • Ziziphus jujuba (L.) Gaertn. (1788, non Miller 1768), nom. illeg.
  • Ziziphus jujuba (L.) Lam. (1789) non Mill. (1768)

Plants called Ziziphus jujuba in literature usually refer to this species when they come from tropical regions.


  • genebank (100 accessions) at ICRAF-WCA/Sahel (Samanko, Mali).


  • The green type, also called "jujube greffe" in La Réunion, has a slightly acid flavour similar to apple when ripe (its skin becoming then opalescent white).
  • The common type, with fruits smaller, orange to red when ripe, has a flavour similar to the date with an important mucilage when fresh. Its ripening season in La Réunion is June-August.



Fruits are eaten raw with the skin in India, Madagascar and the Mascarene Islands.


  • Janick, Jules & Paull, Robert E., 2008. The Encyclopedia of Fruit and Nuts. Cambridge (USA), CABI. 954 p.
  • Kalinganir, Antoinee, Weber, John C. & Coulibaly Salimata, 2012. Improved Ziziphus mauritiana germplasm for Sahelian smallholder farmers: First steps toward a domestication programme. Forests, Trees and Livelihoods, 21(2) : 128-137. on line
  • Koné, B., Kalinganire, A. & Doumbia, M., 2009. La culture du jujubier: un manuel pour l'horticulteur sahélien. Nairobi, Kenya, World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF). 45p.
  • Pareek, O.P., 2001. Ber. Southampton, International Centre for Underutilised Crops. (Fruits for the future, 2).