Results of some Zizyphus jujuba Mill. cultivars adaptation to the conditions of the Ukraine’s Southern Steppe 

UDC 634.662:581.54(477.72)

Results of some Zizyphus jujuba Mill. cultivars adaptation to the conditions of the Ukraine’s Southern Steppe / Karnatovska M.Yu., Ezhov V.M. // Sadivnytstvo (Horticulture). – 2015. – 69. – P. 66-74. – Refs.: 26. – in Ukrainian.

The authors present the results of the long-term observations over the passage of the phenological phases and frost-resistance of 15 Zizyphus jujubа varieties bred in Central Asia, Caucasus and Crimea in the conditions of the Kherson region. The trees of cvs under study have appeared to pass all the stages of the seasonal development under the conditions of the given region  throughout the vegetation period and produce a full-bodied crop.  At the same time a certain delay of this process was revealed in comparison with the plants from Crimea and Georgia. Low (to minus 21.3°C) winter temperatures have proved to cause only partial damage of annual shoots and do not affect the crop.

The comparative biochemical description of fruits has been presented. Among the researched cultivars those which are best adapted to the conditions of the Ukrainian Southern Steppe have been recommended for wide dissemination.

Key words: Zizuphus jujuba, cultivars, phenology, frost- and drought-resistance, fruits biochemistry.




Kirovograd State Agricultural Experiment Station, NAAS of Ukraine, 27602, 2, Central st., Sozonivka, Kirovograd region, e-mail:

V.M. EZHOV, Academician of NAAS of Ukraine

Institute of Horticulture, NAAS of Ukraine, 03027, Kyiv-27, 23, Sadova st., e-mail:


Ziziphus, ZIZIPHUS JUJUBA Mill., Unabi kind, family Rhamnaceae R.Br., order RhamnalesEndl. Ziziphus comes from China, ranking it one of the leading places among fruit crops with notable curative properties; gradually spread first to the countries of Central Asia [4], and then to the Caucasus and the Crimea, so he began to refer to subtropical plants [23,25], eventually to other regions of Ukraine, Russia, Czech Republic and other European countries [14,17,22 26]. The main value of culture Ziziphus see the fruits of that due to the rich content of carbohydrates, fats, proteins and vitamins in common parlance is called "Chinese Dates". And one of the clearest signs of Ziziphus is hypotensive effect of the fruit associated with a decrease in blood pressure [8]; whether this is a result of the established presence of phenolic glycosides fruits or likely presence of specific alkaloids, yet not known.

Some convention referring to Ziziphus subtropical crops emphasizes its high drought and frost. In relation to drought Ziziphus compared with pistachio, almonds and olives [3]; genetically adapted to arid regions, it has a rather rigid and small shiny leaves, thorns, liquefied crown, deep  developed roots system that provides plants with water from deeper soil layers and a large number of adventive buds on the roots in the case of death of the aboveground parts of the plant [23] . Researchers have noted relatively high frost of Ziziphus, indicating that during deep winter dormancy plants can tolerate it without damaging the temperature to  30 °
C below zero [5,7,13]. Culture of Ziziphus needs a lot of light, this particular indicates complete and earlier ripening in areas that are well lit, while in the peripheral parts of the trees leaves and fruits is much smaller [23] Relevant biological feature of Ziziphus are rarely damaged by late spring and early autumn frosts, explaining the specifics of the passage of the culture of different phases of growth and the ability of the spring when freezing to create a spare kidney annual shoots.

To be sure, soil-climate conditions of Kherson region as a typical representative of the southern steppes of Ukraine significantly different from the regions where the culture of Ziziphus is more or less prevalent in need of systematic study according to the circumstances. Climate Kherson region is characterized by a short spring, relatively long hot and dry summers, mild winters with repeated thaws. These features are determined by the geographic location of the Kherson region in southern Ukraine, within the Eastern European steppe plains. According to long-term data, the average annual temperature here is +9.5°
C, with a maximum +4°C and minimum 32 °C below zero, sum of positive temperatures during the growing season is 3280° C, the length of time without frost - 175-190 days, annual rainfall of 300-400 mm [21].

Experimental farm "Novokakhovska" is situatedin  the Kakhovka- Lower Dnepr sand arena. There are available three types of soil – chornozem (black earth) loamy, sandy prairie sod and turf-steppe sand-connected. Research site collection Ziziphus located on chornozem soils with humus layer 76 cm, humus content in the topsoil 1.33% and sod-steppe  sandy soils with humus layer of 87 cm,  humus content in the topsoil 0.99% [20]. In long-term studies on the introduction of Ziziphus in the southern steppe zone of Ukraine using conventional methods to assess overwintering and frost culture [18,19] and to determine the biochemical composition of fruits [9]. Study of biological characteristics of vegetation Ziziphus conducted since 2007 under guidelines on initial quality testing Ziziphus developed in the Laboratory of subtropical crops Nikita Botanical Gardens [24]. From the collection SMEF "Novokakhovska", which was formed in the economy with the support of Nikita Botanical Gardens since the mid-1990s, studied the following varieties: Vakhsh, Vahshskyy 30/16, 40/5 Vahshskyy, Darhomskyy, Chinese 2-A, 93 Chinese, Koktebel , Meteor, Radoslav, Sinit, Soviet, Xuan-Tszao, Tayan-Tszao, Yuzhanin, Ya-tszao.

The conducted studies have established that the plant Ziziphus (Figure 1) in terms of the Kherson region during the growing season are all under seasonal development and knotted fruits that ripen fully.

In a subtropical southern coast of Crimea, where seedlings were obtained Ziziphus, its buds begin to open up for the average air temperature 13.5 °
C and the sum of effective temperatures 50-56  °C [15]. Similar conditionsare needed for this culture at the beginning of the growing season in the Kherson region. According to the eight-year study, vegetation Ziziphus in Kherson begins from average air temperature 11.5 °C and the sum of effective temperatures (above 10 °C) 57.9  °C.


Fig.1. Adult tree Ziziphus 

Fig.2. Ziziphus fruit ripening

Getting opening of buds Ziziphus in terms of economy "Novokakhovska" was recorded in the third week of April, while the difference in this index between grades is one week, so the varieties Vakhsh, Darhomskyy, Xuan-Tszao and Ya-Tszao earliest buds opening held April 23 whereas the varieties Koktebel and Meteor - only on April 29.

Beginning of bud falls by an average of month after opening kidneys, from 18 to 23 May. Quite abundant flowering of culture in the second half of June, an average of one month after the beginning of budding, and the first flowers appear already 13-17 June. Along with the flowering of a plant tied fruit, this process extends over almost two months.

Pigmentation fruit occurs in September, while in the bar stock cut its beginning is different for three weeks - from variety Darhomskyy, for which she begins September 1 to variety Vahshskyy 40/5, in which it takes place on 23 September. In the middle of October begins leaves falling, earlier than other trees shed their leaves varieties Radoslav and Yuzhanin.

In general terms the passage of phonological phases of the culture of Ziziphus differ markedly from previously recorded for this culture in the Southern coast of Crimea [16], showing the result of specific weather and climatic conditions lag on average every two weeks. An even greater difference in the passage of phonological phases plant Ziziphus observed when comparing our data with those in Western Georgia, more subtropical zone Sukhumi [25], where the main phonological phases occur on average in the past three weeks. At the same time, in terms of Kyiv National Botanic Garden  flowering crops accounted for the third week of June, ripening - in mid-October [14], that coincide with our values.

Harvest Ziziphus occurs in the period of ripening, when at least 50% fruit color becomes inherent to the culture (Figure 2). Is shown, that the varieties studied, the start of the maturation phase  significantly different and this difference can be up to month. In terms of the Kherson region the earliest ripening occurs in early October, and it is characteristic of varieties such as Darhomskyy, Vakhsh, Chinese 93, Radoslav, Yuzhanin, Ya-Tszao. Average duration of maturation inherent in such varieties as Vahshskyy 30/16, Chinese 2A, Soviet. Xuan-Tszao, Sinit,Tayan-Tszao; the most recent periods of maturation, namely the end of October, the varieties Vahshskyy 40/5, Koktebel and Meteor. Thus it is appropriate to note that if the fall occurs early cold snap, there is a lack of heat and sunlight in trees varieties Vahshskyy, Koktebel 40/5 and fruits ripen fully, leading to a partial loss of the crop. To sort Meteor contrast this phenomenon did not occur.

Thus, long-term studies of phonological phases passing grades Ziziphus confirmed the prospects of growing the crop in terms of the Kherson region.

Research frost varieties from the collection SMEF "Novokakhovska" for the period 2007-2014 years was conducted in situ, while the lowest temperature observed in the winter of 2009-2010 ( 22.3 °
C below zero, January) and 2011-2012 ( 21.3 °C below zero, February). It is established that the decrease in temperature is accompanied by the required parameters partial damage of annual shoots in some varieties of Ziziphus. For example, in the early summer of 2010 individual annual damage and annual lateral shoots were observed on young branches of variety Koktebel, and varieties of trees Meteor, Sinit, Radoslav the same plant organs have been damaged by 75%. So the same pattern was observed in early summer 2012, except that a greater damage has been established for a variety of Koktebel, and in three other varieties of trees, it was only a few.  Despite the partial damage of these plants, they quickly recovered and in autumn of 2010 and 2012 gave a full crop.

Thus, the most sensitive to low temperatures of winter are varieties of Ziziphus Koktebel, Meteor, Sinit and Radoslaw whereas varieties Darhomskyy, Chinese 2-A and 93, Vakhsh, Vahshskyy 30/16 and 40/5, Soviet, Xuan-Tszao, Tayan-Tszao, Yuzhanin and Ya-Tszao relatively more stable.  In the works Aliyev [1] Aliev et al [2] for Dagestan, Krasovskii [14] for the conditions of Kyiv indicates the ability of Ziziphus culture endure without damage  28-30 °
C below zero. Probably, our data  limited to the specific terms of years of observation and in the future can be adjusted.
Because limit of  information about the biochemical composition of fruits of Ziziphus ,  our studies it has been updated. For Ziziphus fruits collection SMEF "Novokakhovska" established following biochemical composition:
Carbohydrates - 24.8 - 28.7 g / 100g

Monosaccharides - 9.7 - 25.4 g / 100g
Sucrose - 3.3 - 15.1 g / 100g
Phenolic substances - 272 - 377 mg / 100g
Ascorbic acid - 321 - 548 mg / 100g.

In works Aliyev [1], Verhun et al [6] is shown content of the carbohydrates in fruits Ziziphus respectively 20-31 and 21-29 g / 100 g, of vitamin "C" - 250-450 and 238-240 mg / 100g. In addition, the article of Aliyev mentioned components of the so-called "P-vitamin complex - phenolic substances flavanoidesnature, containing 435-691 mg / 100g. Krasovskii [14] in the fruits of Ziziphus found the following phenolic substances as leykoantozyanes (up to 404 8 mg / 100g) and catechins (up to 85.2 mg / 100g). We can conclude, that the fruits of Ziziphus in different conditions of growing crops with high energy and biological value.

Summarizing the results of our studies, we conclude that the soil and climate of Kherson region as a typical southern Steppe of Ukraine is quite suitable for growing crops Ziziphus; of the entire spectrum of the investigated varieties recommended for spreading varieties Darhomskyy, Chinese 2-A and 93, Vahshskyy 30/16 and 40/5,  Tayan-Tszao, Xuan-Tszao and Ya-Tszao, Yuzhanin and Soviet.


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