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biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Genus: Ziziphus

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Eudicotyledons > Core Eudicots > Rosids > Eurosid I > Order: Rosales > Family: Rhamnaceae

About 86 species worldwide (mainly E Asia and East Indies); five species are native to southern Africa, one is naturalised and a further two species are cultivated in the region.

Species native to southern Africa

List from Plants of southern Africa - an online checklist (SANBI), Flora of Zimbabwe and Flora of Mozambique.

Ziziphus abyssinica

Recorded from Zimbabwe and Mozambique. 

Ziziphus mucronata (Buffalo thorn)

Ziziphus pubescens

Recorded from Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

Ziziphus rivularis (False buffalo thorn)


Ziziphus zeyheriana

Species naturalised in southern Africa

List from Plants of Southern Africa - an Online Checklist (SANBI).

Ziziphus mauritiana (Ber, Indian jujube, Chinese apple)

Other species, cultivated in southern Africa

List from Glen (2002).

Ziziphus jujuba (Common jujube)

Native to temperate Asia.


Ziziphus spina-christi (Christ's thorn)

Native from Libya to Pakistan.



  • Glen, H.F. 2002. Cultivated Plants of Southern Africa. Jacana, Johannesburg.