Jujube variety report from NC

I feel like I have just barely enough experience now that some others might be interested in a jujube variety report from me. Lang and Sherwood were the first two varieties I planted, and I probably started getting fruit from them about 6-8 years ago. Li has been fruiting almost as long. Then I’ve had about three crops for Shanxi Li, Sugarcane, and Coco. This is my second year getting fruit from Honeyjar, Redlands, and my first year getting fruit from So. So in somewhat random order here’s my report:

Lang has been a consistent but never heavy producer for me. Lang seems very under-rated for fresh eating quality. It’s not quite as sweet and it’s a little less crunchy-juicy than Li, but there’s consistently more to enjoy to Lang than just sweetness, and I and the rest of my family would rank it highly for overall fresh eating quality, in the top half of all the varieties I’m growing. Medium-large size. Its ripening season begins early.

Sherwood has been a very irregular producer for me. Some years it has made really big crops for me, but just as often it makes almost nothing. Sometimes the last fruits of the year to ripen are pretty sweet and enjoyable to eat fresh, but mostly the sweetness, texture, and flavor are all lacking. Medium size. Its ripening season extends significantly later than any of my other varieties.

Li has maybe been just a little more productive for me than Lang and also consistent from year to year. The sweetness is mostly better than Lang. Size is a little bigger. It’s probably the biggest of all the varieties I’m growing. Texture (crunchy-juiciness) is probably as good as any, too. There’s some flavor to go along with the sweetness, but not as much as some of the others at their best. All in all it might be my favorite.

Redlands seems very similar to Li but just slightly inferior in most respects except productivity where it’s showing very good promise so far. It’s nearly as large, nearly as sweet, a little less flavorful (which isn’t an especially strong trait of Li to start with). Texture might be just as good as Li. If it continues to prove to be more productive, I think I’d definitely consider it a keeper. Based on my experience so far, I don’t think I’d ever choose it for top eating quality, but it’s enjoyable, and combined with good size and promising productivity that’s a pretty good package.

Shanxi Li has been a disappointment. Size is very good – it’s about the same size as Li – and productivity might be better than average for me, but fruit quality is mostly very disappointing. Texture is frequently relatively dry and dense. Neither the flavor nor sweetness has ever really impressed me. I can enjoy eating them – they’re not bad – but given a choice of anything but Sherwood, I’d choose one of the other varieties every time.

Sugarcane at its sweetest has been over the top sweet, but most of the fruit I’ve gotten has had good sweetness but not any better than Li. Even the super sweet fruit I’ve tasted hasn’t been my favorite, because it seemed to lack any other flavor to go along with the sweetness. Size is small. Only Honeyjar is significantly smaller. One average Li might have as much as 4 times the fruit as an average Sugarcane. Texture is mostly very good. Productivity so far seems about average to maybe below average.

Coco is similar to an average Sugarcane, maybe not quite as sweet or juicy but pretty similar. Size is almost identical (small.) I’ve had some fruit that seemed to have a very noticeable coconut taste, but mostly the coconut taste has been faint to unnoticeable. It’s definitely enjoyable, but given the small size, the coconut taste is probably its main appeal, and that hasn’t been consistent.

Honeyjar at its best has probably had the best flavor to go along with sweetness of any variety except maybe So (which has only given me the first few fruits this year – I grafted So last year.) The flavor is reminiscent of the little fruits on my rootstock suckers except with sweetness and probably better texture. The fruit size is barely bigger than the rootstock suckers, though. Sweetness is good but not at all outstanding compared to my other grafted varieties. I guess the texture is good, but they’re so small that the texture isn’t as noticeable. I don’t really have a gauge on productivity yet.

So fruit seems to be about the same small size as Sugarcane or Coco, maybe just slightly larger. The first fruit I tasted had excellent flavor. Other fruits reminded me of Shanxi Li: inferior texture and taste. I’m hopeful, though. The tree form is definitely contorted, and I wonder if it’s going to be dwarfing.


I’m curious if you’ve noticed any difference between your oldest Li tree and the Greensboro Cooperative Extension garden Li, if that one has fruited for you yet? I went looking for fruit on that particular Li tree two weeks ago, and I discovered that they cut it down to the ground. That’s a shame, because it was always such a consistently productive tree. I’m glad I grafted scionwood from it this past spring, but my grafted tree are still too small to fruit.

I like So a lot too, but I think it tastes best when it’s completely brown, whereas other jujubes like Honeyjar tastes good earlier, when they’re still mostly green and just starting to get little brown patches. It’s interesting that your So is definitely contorted since you got your scionwood from me, and I think mine is noticeably less contorted than another So jujube (from a different source) that I used to grow before ambrosia beetles killed it. My current So has a lot of upright and vigorous growth.

Honeyjar is tops for me so far in terms of flavor and productivity. Honeyjar fruits are a little smaller than my other jujube varieties, but they’re still significantly larger than any of my rootstock fruits. Some of the largest Honeyjar fruits are close to the same size as So, just a little less round.

I got fruit from my Norris #1 tree for the first time this year. I had low expectations based on reviews here on Growing Fruit, but I actually liked mine a lot. Not quite as good tasting as Honey Jar or So, but very productive for me this year, in spite of the fact that the japanese beetles seem more partial to the leaves of this variety compared to any of my other jujubes. Norris #1 fruit has an elongated shape and hardly any pit - just a sliver. Like So, they need to be completely brown before they sweeten up. Maybe it’s a better variety for humid climates.

I had a couple R4T3 fruits from a branch that I grafted last year that were also quite good tasting and also elongated, but with a more substantial pit than Norris #1 and a pointed tip. It’s probably too early to say anything about productivity on such a young tree, but it did drop quite a bit of immature fruit just like my Li usually does.

A branch of Autumn Beauty that I also grafted last year also seemed relatively productive and didn’t drop any fruit. It doesn’t have particularly large fruit, and the texture is less crispy than Honeyjar, but the flavor was good.

I’ve been disappointed in the past with Lang, Sugarcane and Shanxi Li - none of them have been very productive or tasty for me, and I grafted over them. I’ve also planted/grafted Winter Delight, Redlands, Black Sea, Russian #2, Alcalde #1, and Chico, but I haven’t had any fruit from those varieties yet.


I guess I see many of the same things here in Dallas. Shanxi Li just doesn’t taste as good as Li. Contorted So when half brown sometimes is good, sometimes very good; but all brown is always very good. My first couple CoCo’s also reminded me of Sugacane in size and taste. My Autumn Beauties are one of my largest, though. I’m glad Lang is good somewhere, it’s not here.


I think my Autumn Beauty is too small and the wrong shape to be the same on One Green World’s website. I got my scionwood from Cliff England. But I like what I have enough to keep it because it seems to be productive here and has a good flavor.

If the Chinese name for Autumn Beauty is Qiyuexian, then the Alcalde #1 I got from chinesereddate.com should be the same thing. Here is the description from NMSU: Jujubes | For Fresh Eating

AmeriZao® Alcalde #1 (Qiyuexian): Recent importation from China. An early cultivar with big fruit and good quality. Precocious and productive. Fully mature in mid-September at Alcalde NM. Good potential in marginal regions.


Appreciate the report. Hadn’t heard much from NC, good info


The demonstration garden Li and my Li always seemed to have pretty much identical fruit in terms of size, flavor and ripening time. The only difference was how much more productive the demonstration garden Li always was. Also, it was apparently self-fertile because there were no other jujubes around that I’m aware of. They also chopped down their hardy kiwis. But they’ve planted a lot more flowers. :neutral_face: I was just curious if you’ve noticed that it’s more productive for you as well, but it could just be based on planting site.

Maybe they’re the same, or maybe the growing conditions affect the degree of contortion… I just thought it was interesting because I was wondering if my So was really even contorted at all.

I’ve never seen them take more than an occasional nibble on my other jujubes either, but this year they really went after my Norris #1. We’ll see if that happens again - it seems that every year they find something different to inundate, along with their perennial favorites (my plums are always covered in them every year). One year they hit my hardy kiwis hard, and another year it was one of my kaki persimmons. But this year those same plants made it through Japanese beetle season largely unscathed.

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My Honey Jar had a decent size fruits and sure looked larger than yours.



My Honeyjar fruit are more this size too, but I remember the first year when my tree had just a few fruit on it, they were smaller and not particularly tasty. They were much bigger and sweeter this year.


Honey Jar is the one for me at my Z5 climate.



With photos like Tony’s, it’s easy to see where his enthusiasm comes from!


Yes, I should have said, if I get crops half as big as in Tony’s photos…