Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Ziziphus oenopolia (L.) Mill.

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Flowers. © CSIRO
Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon and 10th leaf stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
Vine stem bark and vine stem transverse section. © CSIRO
Vine stem bark and vine stem transverse section. © CSIRO

Miller, P. (1768) The Gardeners Dictionary Ed. 8 : no. 3.

Common name

Wine Jujube; Jujube, Wine


Usually grows as a vine but can flower and fruit as a shrub. Vine stem diameters to 5 cm recorded.


Leaf blades about 2-7.5 x 1-2.5 cm, oblique at the base, petioles about 0.3-0.8 cm long. Leaf blades marked with numerous (15-20) small serrate teeth on each side. Lateral veins about 5-10 on each side of the midrib. Stipules persist as curved spines, about 3-10 mm long, one stipule of each pair usually recurved and pointing downwards or sideways. Young leaves and twigs clothed in pale brown hairs.


Inflorescence short, not exceeding the leaves, scarcely exceeding the petioles. Pedicel and calyx sparsely hairy on the outer surface, calyx lobes about 1 mm long, petals spoon-shaped, glabrous, about 1-1.2 mm long, almost enclosing the anthers until anthesis. Ovary +/- immersed in a fleshy disk.


Fruits globular, about 8-10 mm diam. Seeds enclosed in a hard endocarp. Outer surface of the endocarp rugose or pitted. Cotyledons orbicular, much wider than the radicle.


Cotyledons elliptic to almost orbicular, about 8-10 x 4-11 mm, stipulate. First pair of leaves ovate to lanceolate, margins smooth or toothed. Stipules spinose, about 2 mm long. Stem hairy. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade ovate, about 10 x 5 mm, three-veined. Stipules spinose, about 2-3 mm long. Stem clothed in pale-coloured hairs. Leaves often produced on short lateral branches resembling compound leaves. Seed germination time 223 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in NT, CYP and NEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 300 m. Occasionally grows in open forest but usually found in monsoon forest or vine thickets. Also occurs in Malesia and Asia.

Natural History & Notes

This species has been used medicinally in India. Cribb (1981).

Rhamnus oenopolia L., Sp. Pl. : 194(1753), Type: Tropical Asia.
RFK Code
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