Its precise natural distribution is uncertain due to extensive cultivation, but is thought to be in southern Asia, between Lebanon, northern India, and southern and central China, and possibly also southeastern Europe though more likely introduced there.
This plant has been introduced in Madagascar and grows as an invasive species in the western part of the island. This plant is known as the “hinap” or “finab” in the eastern part of Bulgaria where it grows wild but is also a garden shrub, kept for its fruit. The fruit is picked in the autumn. The trees grow wild in the eastern Caribbean, and are reported to exist in Jamaica and Trinidad as well. In Antigua and Barbuda, the fruit is called “dumps” or “dums”. It is also known as “pomme surette” on the French islands of the Caribbean. This fruit, more precisely known as “Indian jujube” elsewhere, is different from the “jujube” fruit that is cultivated in various parts of southern California.