Simmondsia chinensis – Jojoba

Simmondsia chinensis - Jojoba (fruit)

Simmondsia chinensis - Jojoba (flowers)

Plant Name

Scientific Name: Simmondsia chinensis

Synonyms: Buxus chinensis, Simmondsia californica

Common Name: Jojoba

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial, Evergreen

Growth Habit: Shrub

Arizona Native Status: Native

Habitat: Desert, Upland

Flower Color: Inconspicuous (yellowish green)

Flowering Season: Winter, Spring, Summer. It blooms anytime from December to July.

Height: To 7 feet (2.1 m) tall

Description: The male and female flowers are on separate plants. The flowers are small, greenish yellow, and have 5 large sepals. The female plants produce hard, green, acorn-like capsules that shrivel and turn chestnut brown with age. The capsules or "nuts" contain an oily liquid wax that is used in cosmetics. Jojoba oil is not used in food because it is not digestible. The leaves are thick, leathery, dull grayish green, oval to narrowly egg-shaped, and in upward-pointing opposite pairs. The bark is smooth and greenish aging to red-brown and then gray.

Special Characteristics

Allergenic – The pollen is a mild allergen.


Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Rosidae
Order: Euphorbiales
Family: Simmondsiaceae – Jojoba family
Genus: Simmondsia Nutt. – goatnut
Species: Simmondsia chinensis (Link) C.K. Schneid. – jojoba

More About This Plant

Arizona County Distribution Map