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Taylor Fruit (Chinee Apple)

Taylor Fruit – Ziziphus mauritiana

Habit: Thorny, spreading shrub to 6m. Glossy leaves are white underneath Flowers are white –green. Ripe stone fruit is brown with white flesh.

Spread: Birds, animals and people eat the fruit and spread the seeds. Often in gardens.

chinee apple bush

This is another weed that has spread through intentional planting. The fruit is very tasty (like apples) and full of Vitamin C goodness and so many people have them in their backyards. Unfortunately, the birds also think the fruit is pretty awesome and animals like black cockatoos and stock eat the fruit and distribute the seeds throughout the bush. Because some people may rely on this as a nutritious food source, it is important to consult about any local control works being undertaken, stage the process over a number of years and replace with plants with similar properties.  Gubinge and Marool (Terminalia sp.) fruits are also known to have high quantities of vitamin C. See Family Combreteceae under the Native Plants tab for more information on these species.

(Photo: Noel Wilson)

chinee apple fruit

Unripe fruits start off as green and mature to a red-brown colour.

(Photo: Colin Wilson)

Taylor Fruit Spine

The upper side of the leaf is glossy. Watch out for the thorns! These plants grow easily in overgrazed situations. This is generally the case for many species that are unpalatable due to toxins or mechanical defences – Survival of the unpalatable!

(Photo: Gary Scott)

chinee apple leaf underside 3

There are native Ziziphus sp. ( Ziziphus quadrilocularis in WA) and an easy way to tell if it is the weed species, is that the underside of Taylor fruit leaves are white as above.

(Photo: Gary Scott)


1. Owen lloyd - December 1, 2013

Interesting plant ..is this also called cheeky plum ?
And where is it native to and any medicinal or cooking uses ?
Thanks in advance
Owen Lloyd

broomegirl - May 28, 2014

While I don’t know it as Cheeky Plum, I do know it as JuJube (the most common variety is Ziziphus jujuba) and an internet search will tell you more about the wide range of uses for the fruits. It’s a plant of concern for its weedy potential.

2. derbyiters - March 26, 2017

Yep, we have them close by in Derby here in the Northwest.

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