FIELD PERFORMANCE OF SIX CHINESE JUJUBE CULTIVARS INTRODUCED AND TESTED IN NORTHERN ITALY
In 1995, six cultivars of Chinese jujube (Ziziphus jujube Mill.) which were thought to be potentially interesting for their diffusion in Italy were introduced and tested at the Experimental Institute for Fruit Growing of Verona Province, Italy. They were Buluosuzao, Dabaizao, Dongzao, Hupingzao, Meimizao and Zanhuangdazao. After several years of observations the results are very promising. The cultivars introduced produce very big fruit, two or three times the weight of fruit of common Italian cultivars, and the results have generally confirmed the valuable features found in China. The main factors limiting the spread of these cultivars are that the fruit appear to be susceptible to cracking due to rain, and in general it is difficult to determine harvest time. Harvesting starts with Meimizao in the middle of September and ends in the third week of October with Dongzao. Harvesting generally requires two to four consecutive harvests and the fruits are not homogeneous in size and shape in some cultivars, particularly in Dabaizao. Generally they have excellent quality for fresh consumption, high content of soluble solids, crisp flesh and are very tasty. These initial results of cultivation in North Italian environment are encouraging, demonstrating the potential of the wide genetic heritage of this Chinese species. It is therefore considered that these six cultivars, possibly together with other Chinese genotypes, are worthy of further testing in Italy and also in Europe in different local environments, soils and climates for a diffusion that values the following distinctive features: the absence of very small thorns, rapid tree development, early and high yields, big fruit size, harvesting and consumption over an extended period, and high-value organoleptic fruit qualities. These plants appear to have no serious diseases, insects or pests in Italy, so they can easily be introduced for integrated or organic fruit production. Taking in consideration these results, the cultivation of some Chinese jujube cultivars should be extended, both for garden and commercial plantings.
Cossio, F. and Bassi, G. (2013). FIELD PERFORMANCE OF SIX CHINESE JUJUBE CULTIVARS INTRODUCED AND TESTED IN NORTHERN ITALY. Acta Hortic. 993, 21-28
Ziziphus jujube, cultivars, Italy