Submitted to: Florida State Horticulture Society and Citrus Industry
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: June 6, 2010
Publication Date: February 13, 2011
Citation: Ayala Silva, T., Schnell Ii, R.J., Gordon, G.G., Winterstein, M.C. 2011. Preliminary characterization of a Chinese Jujube (Ziziphus jujuba Miller) for South Florida. Florida State Horticulture Society and Citrus Industry. 1. Technical Abstract: Jujube, Ziziphus jujuba Mill. (Rhamnaceae) is a multipurpose tropical fruit tree grown primarily for its fruits, which are eaten fresh or processed, used as a seasoning or spice, or processed for non-food uses. The naturally drooping tree is a distinguished ornamental and often thorny with branches growing in a zig-zag pattern. Jujube cultivars vary in size and conformation, with some being very narrow in habit and others being more widespread. Because it is a fruit tree species highly resistant to drought and salinity, Chinese date is a good alternative to other high water consumptive tree crops in South Florida. Selection for the best genotypes and development of modern cultivation techniques are necessary. Jujube is becoming increasingly popular because of its outstanding advantages including early bearing, rich in nutrition, multi-use, long flowering season, as well as high tolerance to drought and barren soils. China and India are two of the origin and distribution centers of Ziziphus. There are at least 14 species of genus Ziziphus in China, of which Chinese jujube (Z. jujuba Mill.) is the most important one. In this paper, we announce the preliminary recognition and release of a unique and superior form of the species. Z. jujuba ‘Kang’ is a seedling selection from progeny grown from seed received in 1994 from Thailand. While the majority of the seedlings grown produced fruit with inconsistent soluble sugar content, this fruit of this selection has consistently high sugar content (brix) and yield that warrants recognition as a distinct cultivar. This selection (‘Kang’) is of smaller height than other known cultivars. We believe that this fast-growing cultivar has great potential for use commercially and perhaps as a landscape tree in USDA Hardiness Zones 9A-12 and for similar geographical areas with similar edaphic/environmental conditions.