Simmondsia chinensis

Common Name: Jojoba, Goatnut
Oˊodham Name: Hohowai
Group: Shrubs - Desert, Chaparral

Simmondsia chinensis is a dense shrub having leathery leaves which grows in gravelly to rocky soils on slopes and in canyons at 1000 to 5000 ft elevation. Male and female flowers are produced on separate plants. Male flowers contain copious amounts of pollen which is wind-dispersed primarily between 1 and 4PM.
This species produces a nut that has a high tannin content, making it mildly toxic to humans but they may be eaten in small quantities either raw or cooked. The nuts also were roasted by Spanish settlers to make a coffee-like beverage. Jojoba nuts are an important food source for javelinas and deer. The nuts contain approximately 50% liquid wax which has been used by indigenous people for oil and shampoo [ 1 ].

entire plant
female flower
fruit (nut)

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 Information
USDA Plant Profile and Map
  1. Duke, James A. 1983. Handbook of Energy Crops. unpublished.

Contact Us

Name *

E-mail *

Comments *