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Simmondsia chinensis

Wikimedia photo of Jojoba, Simmondsia chinensis, © by Stan Stebbs

Photo of Simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) in Palm Canyon, California, taken March 2005 by Stan Shebs. This image is hosted at Wikipedia.

mature fruit of Simmondsia chinensis contains a single large seed; photo © Mike Plagens

This mature fruit of jojoba was found along Camp Creek, Maricopa Co., Arizona in August 2008.

leaf Simmondsia chinensis photo © Mike Plagens SHRUB : A medium to large sized shrub, occasionally pushing 3 meters in height and diameter. The stems are stiff and intricately branched with brown or gray bark. Jojoba regrows readily from the root stock after fire and so does well in fire-adapted chaparral habitats.

LEAVES: Gray-green, elyptic leaves are very leathery.

RANGE : Upper Sonoran Desert and occasionally in better watered locations in lowland Sonoran Desert. Also under cultivation in various Arizona and California desert locations both for city landscaping and for production of jojoba oil. Jojoba is also a frequent element in lower elevation interior chaparral vegetation.

FLOWERS/FRUIT: Female and male flowers are on separate plants. Male flowers produce copious yellow pollen. Otherwise the flowers lack showy petals. The large acorn-sized nuts borne only on female shrubs are bitter, but edible and are the source of the jojoba oil.


Simmondsiaceae -- Jojoba Family

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2012
Updated 22 Feb. 2012