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Jojoba, Goatnut
Scientific Name: Simmondsia chinensis (Link) C.K. Schneid.
Synonym:
Family: Simmondsiaceae
Jojoba, Goatnut (Simmondsia  chinensis)
Jojoba blooming in April
Recommended Temperature Zone:
sunset: 10-13, 19-24
USDA: 8b-10

Frost Tolerance: Hardy to 18F (-8C)

Heat Tolerance: Full sun or light shade in hot deserts

Sun Exposure: Full sun to part sun, tolerates reflected heat

Origin: USA (Southern California, Arizona) and Mexico (Baja California)

Growth Habits: Large, irregular, evergreen shrub, slow growing to 6 to 10 feet tall (1.8-3 m), 6 to 8 feet wide (1.8-2.4 m); leathery, blue-green, leaves, 1 to 2.5 inches long (2.5-6 cm), 0.25 to 0.8 inch wide (6-20 mm)

Watering Needs: Little to moderate water, water established plants every month at least in summer, although the plants will survive almost everywhere without additional water.

Propagation: Seeds, cuttings of selected clone


The jojoba is valued for the oil from its seeds. The oil is mainly used for lotions, shampoos, and conditioners because of its antisebum properties. It is a high quality oil that is used as replacement for whale oil.

A developing Jojoba

Simmondsia chinensis, Picture U.S.D.A Forest Service, Courtesy of the Hunt Institute

Cultural Practices:
Plant in spring from containers. Plant does best with occasional deep watering. Fertilize in spring.

Blooming Habits:

Fruiting Habits:
A male and a female bushes need to be present to have fruit, occasionally both types of flowers are present on the same plant. The nut is edible, tasting somewhat like hazelnut, but it is slightly bitter until cured.


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Desert-Tropicals is dedicated to provide gardening advice, gardening ideas, and information about flower of all kind for landscape and collections. We try to check carefully the identification of the plants on the illustrations as well as the other information from the page, but occasionally errors do occur. if you notice anything that needs to be changed please contact us. Thanks.

1998-2005 Philippe Faucon, All Rights Reserved.