Garden Oracle / Drought and Heat Tolerant Gardening / Tucson - Phoenix - Arizona - California

Growing Simmondsia chinensis:

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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.

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

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

Simmondsia chinensis: Jojoba - seed capsule

Simmondsia chinensis: Jojoba - seed

Simmondsia chinensis: Jojoba

Latest update: October, 2021
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