( Masau, jujuba, red dates or chinese dates )


General Information

Jujube, sometimes jujuba, known by the scientific name Ziziphus jujuba and also called red date, Chinese date, and Chinese jujube, is a species in the genus Ziziphus in the buckthorn family Rhamnaceae.

Fun Facts!


The fruit is an edible oval drupe 1.5–3 cm (5⁄8–1+1⁄8 in) deep; when immature it is smooth-green, with the consistency and taste of an apple with lower acidity, maturing brown to purplish-black, and eventually wrinkled, looking like a small date. There is a single hard kernel, similar to an olive pit, containing two seeds.


The sweet fruits are edible, and the leaves may be cooked as a vegetable. Ziziphus abyssinica is an excellent tree for bees, both pollen and nectar being easily available. The species is a source of firewood and is used in the production of charcoal. The dark brown to black wood is heavy, hard and resistant to termites and tools. It is used mainly as poles to fence kraals and villages and to cover graves. It is also used for furniture, interior work and carving. Ziziphus abyssinica is also used in tanning. The bark yields a cinnamon-colored dye.


Ziziphus abyssinica is found growing in arid or dry tropical and subtropical regions, with severe heat and slight frost. It occurs at medium to low altitudes, in open woodland, open grassland and along riverbanks; it reaches its southernmost limit along the southern escarpment of the Zambezi Valley. The tree grows throughout Zambia except for 5 districts in the northwest corner.

Toxicity and Allergies

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