Ziziphus jujuba  Mill. – Chinese date  – Rhamnaceae

The Chinese red date or jujube, Ziziphus jujuba, is a deciduous tree that was brought to China from Persia centuries ago.  Now it is one of the five principal fruits of China.  The wrinkled, red fruits are used in cooked dishes, especially desserts, and are the base of a ceremonial wine.  Their red color symbolizes good fortune.  In China they are regarded as a purifier and are said to “clear the nine openings”, including the eyes, ears, sinuses and nose.  The jujube tree plays a role in various rituals in Bengal.  It is regarded as a deity by unmarried girls hoping to get an ideal husband and by married women for maintaining a husband’s fidelity.16