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Ziziphus

Clasificación científica
Reino: Plantae
Filo: Magnoliophyta
Clase: Magnoliopsida
Orden: Rosales
Familia: Rhamnaceae
Especies

Ziziphus angolito
Ziziphus apetala
Ziziphus attopensis
Ziziphus celata
Ziziphus cinnamomum
Ziziphus fungii
Ziziphus funiculosa
Ziziphus glabarrima
Ziziphus guaranitica
Ziziphus horrida
Ziziphus incurva
Ziziphus joazeiro
Ziziphus laui
Ziziphus lotus
Ziziphus mairei
Ziziphus mauritiana
Ziziphus melastomoides
Ziziphus mexicana
Ziziphus mistol
Ziziphus montana
Ziziphus mucronata
Ziziphus nummularia
Ziziphus obtusifolia
Ziziphus oenoplia
Ziziphus oxyphylla
Ziziphus parryi
Ziziphus pubinervis
Ziziphus reticulata
Ziziphus rignonii
Ziziphus rugosa
Ziziphus saeri
Ziziphus spinachristi
Ziziphus spinosa
Ziziphus talanai
Ziziphus taylorii
Ziziphus trinervia
Ziziphus xiangchengensis
Ziziphus xylopyrus
Ziziphus zizyphus


Ziziphus is a genus of about 40 species of spiny shrubs and small trees in the buckthorn family Rhamnaceae, distributed in the warm-temperate and subtropical regions throughout the world. The leaves are alternate, entire, with three prominent basal veins, and 2-7 cm long; some species are deciduous, others evergreen. The flowers are small, inconspicuous yellow-green. The fruit is an edible drupe, yellow-brown, red, or black, globose or oblong, 1-5 cm long, often very sweet and sugary, reminiscant of a date in texture and flavour.

Ziziphus species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Bucculatrix zizyphella (which feeds exclusively on the genus) and Endoclita malabaricus.

The Jujube (Z. zizyphus) is the best known species. Other species include Z. spinachristi from southwestern Asia, Z. lotus from the Mediterranean region, and Ber (Z. mauritiana), which is found from western Africa to India. Ziziphus joazeiro grows in the Caatinga of Brazil.

Uses and mythology[]

In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), suan zao ren (Ziziphus spinosa) is considered to be sweet and sour in taste, and neutral in action. It is believed to nourish the heart yin, augment the liver blood, and calm the spirit (TCM medical terms). It is used to treat irritability, insomnia and heart palpitations.

The mythological lotus tree is often equated with Z. lotus, though the Date Palm is also a possible candidate. The Indian name of Ziziphus is ber.

References[]

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