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Jojoba

Simmondsia chinensis

Details & Attributes


Plant Type(s) Shrub, perennial
Native to Arizona Yes!
Water Needs Low
Sun Full sun
Has Spines No
Size
In relative feet, width by height
4-7 × 4-7
Freeze Tolerant No
Flowering Season February-May
Flower Color Greenish
Minimum Temperature Range 20-30 °F
Leaf Description Waxy, rounded, almost succulent
Fruit A brown nut
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Elevation Range 1500-5000 ft.
Ethnobotany Used for sores, as a cathartic, as a coffee like beverage, the nuts were made into cakes, eaten fresh, and made into a nut butter.
Description This is a common shrub in the Sonoran Desert, recognizable by its rounded, greyish green, waxy leaves. This plant serves as a good background planting in a garden featuring Sonoran Desert staples such as foothills palo verde (Parkinsonia microphylla), saguaro (Carnegia gigantea), cholla (Cylindropuntia), and fairy duster (Calliandra eriophylla). This species is dioecious, meaning there are separate the male and female plants. The flowers are wind pollinated but bees do still visit staminate (male, pollen-bearing) blooms. Plants with female flowers produce an acorn like seed capsule. These nuts attracts mammals and larger birds who eat the seeds. This species can also be used to create a drought tolerant hedge. Minimal pruning is ideal as box pruned Jojobas look unhealthy and unnatural.