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ABOUT THE PLANT
 

Jojoba is a perennial, dioecious, evergreen shrub or small tree that lives under diverse environmental conditions. It has an extensive and deep root system and requires little care if maximum seed production is not desired. Jojoba is valuable as a soil conservation and landscape plant for highway shoulders, city parks, and other places that cannot afford much care. Jojoba (pronounced ho-HO-ba) is being cultivated to provide a renewable source of unique high-quality oil. Jojoba is a woody evergreen shrub that typically grows to a height of 10 to 15 ft. Leaves are opposite, oval or lanceolate, gray green, and have a waxy cuticle that reduces moisture loss. The plant develops one or a few long tap roots (up to 40 ft) that can supply water and minerals from far below the soil surface. Jojoba does not shed its leaves with the change in seasons.


Common Name:
Common Name: Jojoba
Latin Name: Simmondsia chinensis
Family: Simmondsiaceae
Other Names: goat nut, deer nut, pignut, wild hazel, quinine nut, coffeeberry, and gray box bush.
 
BOTANIC DESCRIPTION
 
Simmondsia chinensis is a leafy, xerophytic, woody evergreen dioecious shrub or small multi-stemmed tree that grows to a height of 0.51 m in the wild, occasionally to 6 m tall with taproots to 12 m long.

Leaves opposite, oval or lanceolate, grey green or bluish-green, leathery, oblong, opposite, 2.53.5 cm long and contain special tissue with a high concentration of phenol compounds.

Flowers apetalous, dioecious; the male flowers are yellow, larger, and occur in clusters with 1012 stamens per flower; female flowers small, usually solitary in the axils or in clusters at the nodes, pale green with 5 greenish sepals, soft and hairy.

Fruits green capsules, ovoid, usually dehiscent with 1-3 seeds. Seed peanut-sized, dark brown, the endosperm scanty or absent
The jojoba plant is dioecious. The gender of jojoba plants can only be discerned from their flowers. When planted from seeds, jojoba plants can take up to three years to produce flowers. The female plants produce seed from flowers pollinated by the male plants. Jojoba leaves have an aerodynamic shape, ceating a spiral effect, which brings wind-born from the male flower to the female flower.The pollinated female flower becomes a hardened capsule, which contains one or more developing seeds. As the growing seed fills the capsule, the capsule wall becomes progressively thinner until dried by the sun. The sun-dried capsule ultimately splits open, and the mature seed drops to the ground. The color and shape of

jojoba seeds are reminiscent of coffee beans, however close examination reveals significant differences. Jojoba seeds are far larger, and their sizes and shapes are not uniform. Seed production is generally limited until the fourth year of growth.
 
DISTRIBUTION
Jojoba is a native to the Sonoran Desert. Most natural populations exist only inside a quadrangle with Riverside (California), Globe (Arizona), Guaymas (Sonora, Mexico), and Cabo San Lucas (Baja California, Mexico) as its four corners, and comprise about 100,000 square miles between latitudes 25 and 34 North. These disjunct jojoba populations occur from sea level to about 1,500 m altitude on coarse
 
ECOLOGY

Environment Requirements:

A. Climate:
 
The plant is drought resistant and to some extent also salt-resistant, ranging from warm temperate desert (with little or no frost) to thorn through tropical desert forest life zones. It grows best where the annual rainfall exceeds 300 mm, but does exist where less than 125 mm occur. Jojoba requires the most water during late winter and early spring.

It tolerates full sun and temperatures ranging from 0-47C. Mature shrubs tolerate temperatures as low as -10C, but seedlings are sensitive to light frosts just below freezing. Frost may not damage taller plants to the same degree, but it can reduce yield. Jojoba is very tolerant of high temperatures.
 
B. Soil:
 
Soil texture is important as jojoba grows best in sandy or decomposed granite or rocky soils and slowest in heavy clay soils such as adobe. Even if the fertility of the soil is marginal, jojoba is still able to produce well without the use of fertilizers
 
BIOPHYSICAL LIMITS
 
Altitude: 0-1500 m
Mean annual temperature: 12-35C
Mean annual rainfall: 200-1100 mm
Soil type: Jojoba is usually restricted to well-drained, coarse, sandy or gravelly soils, well-aerated desert soils that are neutral to alkaline, with an abundance of phosphorus and pH of 7.3 to 8.2.
 
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