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Jojoba

Jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis) is a new industrial crop being grown commercially in hot arid and semiarid regions of the southwestern United States. The primary product of this evergreen shrub is a unique liquid wax contained in the seed. This wax is used as a natural base for a wide range of cosmetic products, has heat-resistant lubricating properties, and is potentially useful in the chemical industry. Research on jojoba has been conducted at the Maricopa Agricultural Center since 1984. Studies have been recently concluded on water management for frost protection and nitrogen fertility.

A major ongoing research effort has been to identify jojoba clones that will provide high seed yields under Arizona growing conditions. Three female clones, AT-1487, AT-1310 and AT-3365, were released to the public in 1989. In 1995, nineteen jojoba clones were planted in replicated tests at the University of Arizona Maricopa and Citrus Agricultural Centers. The Maricopa location is being used to evaluate clones for cold hardiness and the Citrus Farm will provide growth and seed production information at a location similar to commercial growing areas in Arizona.

In December 1999, the University of Arizona released to the public 21 female and four male jojoba clones. The female clones released are either high yielding or have exhibited other desirable characteristics. Descriptive information and unrooted stem cuttings of the clones are available from the Maricopa Agricultural Center.

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