Desert apple/Elandai

Ziziphus mauritiana



General Information :

    • A small to moderate sized deciduous Evergreen tree.
    • Leaves tiny, ovate dark green in color.
    • Flowers are very tiny cremish in color.
    • Fruits reddish brown in color.

    Distribution :

    • It is found throughout the hotter and drier parts of India.

    Habitat : Dry Deciduous forest.

    Soil : Wide variety of soil except clay soil

    Soil pH : 5 to 7

    Altitude :Up to 1700 m

    Rainfall :100-1000 mm

    Temperature : 13 - 35 deg c

    Terrain : Plain / hilly

    Tree Characteristics :
    • Strong Light demander, frost and drought hardy

    Habit : Deciduous Tree

    Planting Guidelines

    Natural Regeneration :

    • Propagated by seed.

    Artificial Regeneration :

    • Propagated by Nursery raised Seedlings

    Seed collection and Storage :

    • Seeds are collected from June to August.
    • Fresh Fruits on collection should be depulped and shade dried.
    • Seed weight is 3300-500/kg.
    • Seed has less viability.

    Seed Treatment :

    • Cold water treatment for 24 hours.

    Nursery Technique :

    • Seeds are directly dibbled into polybags with soil, sand and FYM in the ratio of 1:1:1 or 2:1:1.
    •  Soil with high clay content should be avoided.
    • Fresh seeds should be graded and large size seeds are sown in polybags at the rate of two seeds per bag.
    • Two leaf stage seedlings are transplanted into polybags.

    Plantation technique :

    • Polybags planting: In dry localities pits of 45 cm3 and in moist locality pits of 30 cm3 are dug for planting.
    • Seedling of 6 -12 month old are out planted into the above pits during the rainy season;
    • The spacing normally applied is 3x 3 m or 5 x 5 m for fodder production and 10 m x 10 m to 12 m x 12 m for fruit production.

    Care & Disease Control :

    • During February – March, prune the trees and thin the crowded branches to provide maximum fruit bearing area in the tree.
    • Watering and weeding are very essential during the first two years for proper establishment and growth.

    Irrigation :

    Irrigate the plants initially for establishment. Provide 5 % slope towards the base of the tree for in situ water harvesting.

    Recommended Harvest :

    • Fruits can be harvested from 2nd year onwards

    Yield :

    • The yield ranges about 70-80 Kg of fruits/tree/year

    Major uses :

    • Fruits are eaten fresh or dried.
    • Root is used against diabetes and chronic fever.
    • Leaves are used to feed tussar silk worms.
    • Timber is used for house constructions, agricultural implements, oil crushers, golf clubs and toys.

    Other uses :

    Timber : 

    • The wood is used for general construction, furniture and cabinet work, tool handles, agricultural implements, tent pegs, golf clubs, gun stocks, sandals, yokes, harrows, toys, turnery, household utensils, bowling pins, baseball bats, chisels and packaging. It is also suitable for the production of veneer and plywood.
    • Medicinal Jujube is both a delicious fruit and an effective herbal remedy. It aids weight gain, improves muscular strength and increases stamina.
    • The dried fruits contain saponins, triterpenoids and alkaloids. They are anodyne, anticancer, antidote, expectorant, pectoral, refrigerant, sedative, stomachic, styptic and tonic.
    • They are considered to purify the blood and aid digestion, and are used internally in the treatment of a range of conditions including chronic fatigue, loss of appetite, diarrhoea, pharyngitis, bronchitis, anaemia, irritability and hysteria.
    • A mucilage made from the fruit is used to make bronchial pastilles.
    • The seed contains a number of medically active compounds including saponins, triterpenes, flavonoids and alkaloids. It is hypnotic, narcotic, sedative, stomachic and tonic, and is used internally in the treatment of palpitations, insomnia, nervous exhaustion, night sweats and excessive perspiration.

    Market details :

    • Fruits : Approximately Rs.100 to Rs120/kg
    • Wood : Approximately Rs.2600 to Rs.3000/ton