Dr Yao Jujube Tasting 10/1 Alcalde NM

I had a great time at Dr Yao’s Jujube tasting workshop. I got to taste about 40 varieties of Jujube’s, as well as Jujube Cake, Jujube’s & whipped cream, candied jujube’s, & dried jujube’s; nobody went home hungry. There was also a lecture about growing jujubes & a comparison of varieties, as well as a tour of the plantings at Alcalde New Mexico.

For the tasting there were paper plates, filled with jujube’s, with the name. date, & source location on the plate. I took a picture of each plate so I now have a record of what each variety looks like.

Dr Yao doesn’t intend to put the presentation on the web, but I’ve asked for a copy which I can post. I have a printout but it doesn’t do justice to the pictures. Take aways:

Vitamin C is high in fresh jujubes, but largely disappears when sun dried.

Dr Yao says the Sandia is far & away the best tasting fresh jujube. She’s also high on the Dongzao. But neither is prolithic nor precocious. For large Jujube’s she likes the Alcalde #1, which is early, but not as prolithic as Li. All 3 tasted very good to me.

Pruning is important to get the best taste. Her latest plantings are on a 6 ft tree to tree spacing, about 12 ft between rows. She tops the trees each year so that they don’t shield each other. I also saw her very 1st planting, trees are only 2-3 ft apart; she says funding was tight then, she keeps the orchard as a tree repository. She uses an electric fence on her newest planting to keep away deer & racoons; at another location her problem is birds, thousands of birds. Pruning is easy as fruit bears each year on new wood,

The Li’s from Alcalde are about the same size & taste as mine. But the ones she grows 100-120 miles south are 30-40% larger, the largest Jujube’s I’ve ever seen. Taste was the same.

Lang is not self fruitful. She puts bags over branches & see’s what fruits.

I’ll post some more pictures shortly.


Thanks for sharing @Bhawkins ! Awesome fist-hand accounts, no doubt!


GI1183 I thought tasted good. Not great, but not bad, I’d give it a “B”


Li’s on the right are the same size as mine. Those on the left were grown farther south, 100-120 miles, & are much much bigger


I wonder where? I was 100 miles south of Alcalde on Oct 1 but back in NY today.

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You should have stopped by! I forget the name, but its a New Mexico State extension, with the initials “LL”, about 50 miles south of Santa Fe.

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The Contorted So in Alcalde is a little different than mine. My So’s, from Roger Meyer and Edible Landscape, produce fruit close to Sugarcane size, just slightly smaller. In Dr Yao’s So, there are 2 distinct sizes; one my size, & 1 much smaller size. The Large fruit tastes ok but not quite as good as mine; the small fruit is mediocre. There’s are lots of tiny fruit. I’ll look at my trees next year & see if I have tiny fruit & how many; but I don’t remember them.




Dr Yao really likes Russian 2. Its about the same size as Honeyjar, just as precocious & productive, & has very good taste


Thanks for all the photos Bob. I would like to see the clips or Video of the workshop that would be awesome.


Nice, too bad it wasn’t recorded and uploaded on youtu.be. Wish they’d host such an event out here on the panhandle of Florida. Really cool you were able to attend. Thanks for sharing.

Prof Yao was kind enough to share her presentation. See following link

Jujube flowering and fruit habits Alcalde 10-1-2019.pdf (3.1 MB)


Thanks Bob.

Thank you sir

Who has Russian 2?

Possibly England’s nursery in KY. Or Chinese Red Date Orchard in NM

Probably refers to Los Lunas, NM. There is an ag experiment station there.

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Yes that’s it!

@Bhawkins thanks so much for the report! from your tasting, do you think Alcalde #1 was comparable to the fresh eating favorites like Sandia and Honey Jar in terms of sweetness and texture? I’m very interested in it due to her report of it being self-fertile.

Looking forward to trying many of these in the coming years!

Alcalde #1 was very good, but a slightly different taste / texture from the smaller varieties. Which is best probably depends on individual taste.

Another poster here , Katie, is also growing Alcalde #1; maybe Bob Vance too? Perhaps they can comment


My little tree struggled this year but produced two late fruit from a second bloom. I thought they were really good but the first one I think I should have let ripen a bit longer. Mine were a bit dry but we had no rain from July to October. I really need another year and a larger sample from an older tree but so far I’m not disappointed in the taste.