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Common Jujube : Ziziphus zizyphus
For many people, the common name jujube conjures up images of a fruit-flavored gummy candy with a dense, stiff texture. It is also one of the common names for Ziziphus zizyphus, a deciduous fruit tree that is relatively easy to grow in warm climates. The species is probably native to Syria and/or North Africa, but thousands of years ago, it was exported to China where it has been in cultivation ever since. It was introduced to the U.S. in the 1800s at Beaufort, North Carolina and is hardy to at least zone 6. The smooth-green fruit darkens as it matures, first to to red then purplish-black and wrinkled. The end result is a sweet, dried, wrinkled fruit; hence the common name Chinese date.
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