Simmondsia chinensis (Link) C.K. Schneid.


Common name: Jojoba.

Family: Simmondsiaceae.

Flowering time: April-May.

Fruiting time: Summer.

Habitat: Found on rocky or sandy slopes sometimes along ephemeral streams in the desert.

Range: Located in the southern desert regions of Arizona and California.

Ecology: This slow growing shrub is intolerant of shade and is extremely fire tolerant and drought tolerant. The foliage provides forage for grazing animals and the nuts are eaten by many rodents, squirrels and rabbits.

Ethnobotanical information: Cahuilla and Tempalpakh Indians would eat jojoba seeds fresh or grind the seeds into powder to make a coffee-like beverage while Yavapai Indians ground the seeds to the consistency of peanut butter. Papago Indians and many other tribes used the jojoba oil for sores and wounds. Today, jojoba is widely cultivated for the unique oil found in its seeds. 90% of jojoba harvested is used by the cosmetics industry to make waxes, candles, detergents, emulsifiers, and bases for creams and ointments. Jojoba is one of the Sonoran Deserts most valuable native plants and there are plantations established in the US, parts of South America and Israel.


This plant on Jepson Interchange