Plant family: Simmondsiaceae - Jojoba
Plant type: Shrub
Plant origin: N/A, California, Other Southwest
Attracts Wildlife, Important to Native People, Salt Tolerant
Jojoba with the botanical name Simmondsia chinensis, and also known as goat nut, deer nut, pignut, wild hazel, quinine nut, coffeeberry, and gray box bush, is native to Southwestern North America. Simmondsia chinensis is the sole species of the family Simmondsiaceae.
This is a woody, evergreen shrub, averaging 2 to 5 feet tall and wide, sometimes to 10 feet with leathery, grayish-green leaves. The pale green female flowers are borne singly at each leaf node. The yellowish-green male flowers are borne in clusters. Plants bloom in winter and female plants ripen their acorn-shaped and -sized seeds in summer.
Jojoba prefers light, coarsely textured soils. Good drainage and water penetration is necessary. It tolerates salinity and poor-nutrient soils. High temperatures are tolerated by jojoba, but frost can damage or kill plants.
The foliage provides year-round browse for many animals, especially deer, javelina, bighorn sheep, and livestock. Nuts are eaten by many animals, including squirrels and other rodents, rabbits and larger birds.
Jojoba is grown commercially to produce jojoba oil, a liquid wax ester extracted from its seed.
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