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Simmondsia chinensis (Link) C.K. Schneid.
Jojoba, Goatnut, Quinine plant
Synonym(s): Buxus chinensis, Simmondsia californica
USDA Symbol: SICH
USDA Native Status: L48 (N)
This attractive, gray-green shrub is often considered evergreen but technically is deciduous with persistent leaves. Inconspicuous flowers occur on short axillary stems and are followed by green, acorn-like fruits on female plants. Stiff branched for a low mound shape; jojoba grows 4 1/2-6 ft. tall. Bluish-green, medium-size shrub with low, broad appearance and leathery leaves. Very widely spreading.
Jojoba is emerging as a potentially important desert crop species. Its fruit is about 50 percent oil, of a quality similar to that of sperm whale oil. Unlike many other oils, it does not degrade by bacterial activity. It can be used in cosmetics, lubricants, in cooking, and as a wax for cars, while the pulp remaining after oil extraction can be fed to animals.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Shrub Leaf Retention: Evergreen Leaf:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Apr , May
, CA Native Distribution:
to s. CA
& adjacent Mex. Native Habitat:
Dry slopes along washes
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Rocky or sandy, barren soils.
Conditions Comments: Slow-growing. Tolerates a wide range of soils. Often used as a hedge or foundation plant.
PropagationDescription: Propagation by seed is possible.
Seed Collection: To avoid seed loss, fruits should be picked while green. Dried fruits can be broken up in a macerator or hammer mill.
Seed Treatment: Seeds germinate without pretreatment.
Commercially Avail: yes
Record Last Modified: 2009-04-15
Research By: TWC Staff