Desert-Wise Living >> Desert-Wise Landscaping >> Plant Spotlight

Plant Spotlight: Jojoba

The jojoba is a native of the Morongo Basin and thrives in home landscapes.  Simmondsia chinensis is a wonderful plant for back of the border or to be used as at moderately-fast growing screen. Leaf color ranges from greens to greys. The leaves are small and the shrub can be kept compact in habit through pruning. It can grow from 4-7 feet high and wide. Care should be taken in higher elevations (up to 5000 feet) of our area as a hard freeze can kill a young plant. Despite needing good drainage, jojoba seems to tolerate and even appreciate clay soils. Deer prefer it but rabbits and other nibblers ignore it. 
large jojoba plant
Photos by Stacy Doolittle
This native plant is the same one farmed agriculturally for jojoba oil from its berries. The only animal able to digest the wax in its nuts is the Bailey's pocket mouse.


jojoba plant near house

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