views updated May 29 2018


Two species of jujube grow wild in Israel: the wild jujube (Zizyphus spina-Christi) and the lotus jujube (Zizyphus lotus). The former is a tall tropical tree with dense, prickly branches (from which, according to Christian tradition, Jesus' crown of thorns was made, hence its scientific name), growing in the hot regions of Israel. The latter is a prickly desert bush, bearing small floury fruit; it grows wild in North Africa where the people make bread from it. These are "the lotus eaters" mentioned by Herodotus (Historiae, 4:177). Also growing in Israel is the cultivated jujube (Zizyphus vulgaris) which produces a large fruit with an excellent flavor. This is the sheizaf of rabbinic literature which is commonly grafted on to the wild jujube, called rimin, the two species being counted as diverse kinds (kilayim) according to halakhah (Kil. 1:4). The fruits of the wild jujube are tasty but were not highly thought of (cf. Dem. 1.1). This tree, widespread in the wadis of the Arabah and the Jordan Valley, is identified with the ze'elim (lotus trees, av "shady trees") of Job 40:21–22 under which the behemoth lies near the banks of the Jordan. Near Ein Hazevah in the Arabah grows a huge wild jujube which is counted among the oldest trees in Israel.


Loew, Flora, 3 (1924), 133–41; H.N. and A.L. Moldenke, Plants of the Bible (1952), 248f.; J. Feliks, Kilei Zera'imve-Harkavah (1967), 103–5. add. bibliography: Feliks, Ha-Ẓome'aḥ, 152, 160.

[Jehuda Feliks]


views updated May 18 2018

ju·jube / ˈjoōˌjoōb/ • n. 1. the edible berrylike fruit of a Eurasian plant, formerly taken as a cough cure. ∎ (also ) a jujube-flavored lozenge or gumdrop. 2. (also jujube bush) the shrub or small tree (Ziziphus jujuba) of the buckthorn family that produces this fruit.


views updated May 23 2018

1. Sweet made from gum and sugar.

2. Shrub (Ziziphus mauritania or Z. jujuba), important fruit crop in India; the fruit is reddish‐brown, up to 2 cm in diameter, with a single stone; a 100‐g portion is a good source of vitamin C.


views updated May 14 2018

jujube Either of two species of small thorny trees and their fruit of the genus Zizyphus. Z. jujuba, native to China, has elliptical leaves and reddish brown, plum-sized fruits, which have a crisp, white, sweet flesh. Z. mauritanica of India has smaller fruit. Family Rhamnaceae.


views updated May 11 2018

jujube edible fruit of plant of genus Zizyphus XIV; lozenge of the shape of or flavoured with this XIX. —(O)F. jujube or medL. jujuba, ult.— L. zizyphum—Gr. zizuphon.


views updated May 21 2018

jujube See ZIZYPHUS.