Jojoba is a medium to large sized evergreen shrub mounding 8-10 ft. tall, spreading 10-12 ft. across with a very dense foliage habit comprised of stiff pale gray-green leaves. Inconspicuous yellow-green flowers occur in early spring. Female plants produce a small fruit capsule containing seeds that mature in late fall. These seeds contain an oil that is highly valued for the production of oils, soaps and skin products.
Jojoba is native to arid and desert climate zones throughout the southwestern United States, including southern California, Arizona and northern Mexico. It grows on rocky and well-drained soils, on exposed hillsides and where rainfall ranges from as little as 6-10 in. annually. In Inland Empire gardens and landscapes, the cultivar S. c. ‘Vista’, is often the best choice due to its smaller size; it grows into a mound 4 ft. high and as wide. It is a handsome foliage plant for slopes and as a clipped hedge in southwestern and Mediterranean style gardens. Young plants are tender to frost below 25°F and grow faster with moderate amounts of supplemental water.