It is used as rootstock for grafting the cultural variety Ziziphus jujube. The use of a seedling as a rootstock for grafting is more advantageous than the use of an in-vitro (vegetatively) propagated rootstock, because the seedling has better adaptability to habitat conditions, longer lifespan and better vitality. It adapts better to water scarcity, can use the supplied nutrients better, the root system is much better anchored compared to in-vitro propagated rootstocks, and the tree does not need any support in adulthood, even in a wind stand.
Origin: China, Shanxi province
Description: deciduous tree or shrub reaching a height of 5 – 8 m, usually with thorny branches. The leaves are shiny-green, ovate-acute, 2 – 7 cm long and 1 – 3 cm wide, with three conspicuous veins at the base, and a finely toothed margin. The flowers are small, 5 mm wide, with five inconspicuous yellowish-green petals. The fruit is an edible oval drupe 1,5 - 2 cm deep. When immature it is smooth-green, with the consistency and taste of an apple, maturing brown to purplish-black, and eventually wrinkled, looking like a small date. There is a single hard kernel, similar to an olive, containing two seeds.
Use: Use: Seeds of Ziziphus spinosa called Suan zao ren are used in traditional Chinese medicine. Suan zao ren nourishes the heart, dilates the blood in the liver and calms the mind. It is used to treat irritability, insomnia and heart palpitation.