Scientific: Simmondsia chinensis (sometimes referred to as Simmondsia californica)
Common: jojoba, goat nut, or coffee berry
Family: Buxaceae
Origin: Sonoran desert in uplands just above desert valley floors.

Pronounciation: Sim-mond-SEE-a chi-NEN-sis

Hardiness zones:
Sunset 12-13
USDA 9-10 (arid zones only)

Landscape Use: Xeric and desert landscapes themes, very informal hedge, background, screen, desert food crop, attracts urban wildlife like birds, etc. Use male plants if possible.

Form & Character: Evergreen shrub, stiff, open, rounded, informal

Growth Habit: Slow to moderate growth rate to 3 to 10 feet with greater spread; it's size in urban landscapes is highly very dependent on water availability although it can be easily maintained at under 5 to 6 feet in height under irrigated conditions.

Foliage/texture: Ovate dull, gray-green thick leaves to 1 inch on dull green stems, nearly sessile, medium fine texture

Flowers & fruits: Jojoba is dioecious, male flowers 1/4 inch in panicled clusters, female flowers to 3/4 inch, flowers are cream colored and occur during late winter and early spring; fruits on female plants are many, the fruit exocarp is light beige, it dries and opens in late June and July showing a darkened nutty mesocarp seed. Both flowers and fruits are not ornamental.

Seasonal color: None

Temperature: Tolerant

Light: Full sun required

Soil: Tolerant

Watering: Apply only limited supplemental water once established in Phoenix landscapes. Heavy irrigation regimens promotes weak, rank, spindly, and unruly growth that increases the need for pruning.

Pruning: Head back only lightly to shape. Please do not formally shear.

Propagation: Seed, cutting

Disease and pests: None

Additional comments: Jojoba is currently experiencing an upswing in landscape popularity in the Phoenix area. Jojoba should not be planted in small or narrow planters. Jojoba performs poorly if sheared. Jojoba fruit are edible, high oil content and can be used as a substitute for sperm whale oil. The leaves can be used in a tea that will reduce swelling of multiple bodily mucous membranes. In Mexico, jojoba teas have long been used for alleviating asthma. A tea of seeds is reported to reduce inflammation in pharngitis, tonsilitis and various types of sore throats. A functional landscape substitute for boxwood in arid, hot sites. Very brittle wood.

Simmondsia is a named derived from English botanist and physician, Thomas William Simmonds (1767-1804).