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Growing Simmondsia chinensis: Jojoba

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Description
Form: A multi-stemmed, long-lived shrub. Female plants are larger and more deeply rooted than male plants, which outnumber females in cultivation five to one.
Leaf retention: Evergreen.
Growth rate: Slow to moderate depending on water.
Mature Size: 6-8' high and wide.
Flowers: Male and female flowers appear on different plants. Flowers on male plants are tiny, greenish-yellow, and clustered. Flowers on female plants are small, greenish, and usually solitary at leaf nodes.
Bloom: Early winter into spring, or spring into summer, depending on the local climate.
Fruit: With male plants present, an acorn-shaped, thin, fleshy capsule appears on female plants, usually containing one large, dark brown seed.
Leaves: Dull green, oval to lance-shaped, in upward-pointing pairs.
Stems: No thorns. The dense branches are rigid, and somewhat irregular.
Roots: One to several very deep taproots, which may exceed 30' deep in females.
Wildlife: The leaves are browsed by large mammals, especially goats. The seeds are consumed by some small mammals and large birds.
Toxic / Danger: The pollen is a mild allergen. The seed meal is toxic to some mammals. Humans find the seeds edible, but poisonous in large quantities.
Origin: Southwestern North America.

Cultivation and Uses
USDA hardiness zones: 9-11. Below 20°F, flowers and terminal parts of the branches are damaged and first year seedlings are severely damaged.
Heat tolerant: Yes.
Drought tolerant: Yes.
Sun: Full sun. This plant grows leggy in shade.
Water once established: Monthly.
Soil: Well drained, pH 5.6-9.0 (acidic to highly alkaline). This plant is saline tolerant.
Prune: To shape.
Litter: Low.
Propagation: Seed or cuttings.
Uses: Xeric garden, a hedge in very dry, hot regions. The seed contains an oily, indigestible, liquid wax.

Comments
Jojoba is one of two species in the Jojoba family (Simmondsiaceae). Another common name is Goatnut.



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Latest update: October, 2021.

Simmondsia chinensis: Jojoba - flowers
Left - male flowers. Right - a female flower.

Simmondsia chinensis: Jojoba - seed capsule

Simmondsia chinensis: Jojoba - seed

Simmondsia chinensis: Jojoba