Goat Nut, Jojoba
|This handsome shrub may have helped save the whales. Its nuts produce the only vegetable oil to match the properties of sperm whale oil for soaps, cosmetics, polishes, waxes and machinery lubricants. Leathery leaves on stiff woody branches make good hedges, screens, foundation plants or ornamental specimens for desert gardens. Male plants bear small, yellow flowers; females, solitary, pale green flowers; an occasional renegade plant bears flowers of both sexes. Bitter when raw, the cured nuts taste like filberts. The first Latin name honors Thomas William Simmonds, a botanist who died in 1804 while exploring Trinidad. Some still use the original, more appropriate second name -- californica -- instead of the misleading newer name, chinensis. Give full sun and well-drained sandy or gravely soil. Though very drought-tolerant, does best with occasional deep watering. Grow young plants in containers until large enough for spring planting in permanent location. Feed established plants in spring. Frost-tender young plants later become hardy to 18º F. To ensure nut formation, plant at least one male shrub with females. Can also grow from seed or cuttings.
The leaves of this multi-stemmed shrub are gray, yellow, or blue-green. The nutlike fruit is 3/4-inches long, and its oil is used in skin care products. Native to deserts of the southwestern United States.
Attributes - Simmondsia chinensis
Plant Type: Shrub
Bloom Season: Early Spring
Flower Color: Yellow
Height: 3 ft. to 6 ft.
Width: 6 ft.
Sunlight: Full Sun
Climate: Zones 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11
Notes: Thrives in Dry Climates, Hot Climates.