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Natal Plum Carissa macrocarpa

Previously known as:

  • Carissa grandiflora
Phonetic Spelling
ka-RIS-uh ma-kro-KAR-pa
Description

Natal Plum is an easy to grow spiny evergreen shrub with dense leathery green leaves, fragrant white flowers and showy edible red fruits.  It can be used as a hedge, security screen or foundation planting where it is hardy or it can be grown in a container that is brought indoors in the winter.  It is tolerant of salt spray.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Boxwood Beauty'
    Compact
  • 'Fancy'
    Upright, large fruits
  • 'Green Carpet'
    Low growing
  • 'Prostrada'
    Low Growing
  • 'Tomlinson'
    Dwarf, thorns are more hidden in foliage, wine red fruits
  • 'Variegata'
    Variegated foliage with cream or yellow
'Boxwood Beauty', 'Fancy', 'Green Carpet', 'Prostrada', 'Tomlinson', 'Variegata'
Tags:
#white flowers#easy to grow#low maintenance#security#showy fruits#salt spray tolerant#dense#red fruits#edible fruits#leathery leaves#glossy fruits#purple fruits#spiny#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Boxwood Beauty'
    Compact
  • 'Fancy'
    Upright, large fruits
  • 'Green Carpet'
    Low growing
  • 'Prostrada'
    Low Growing
  • 'Tomlinson'
    Dwarf, thorns are more hidden in foliage, wine red fruits
  • 'Variegata'
    Variegated foliage with cream or yellow
'Boxwood Beauty', 'Fancy', 'Green Carpet', 'Prostrada', 'Tomlinson', 'Variegata'
Tags:
#white flowers#easy to grow#low maintenance#security#showy fruits#salt spray tolerant#dense#red fruits#edible fruits#leathery leaves#glossy fruits#purple fruits#spiny#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Carissa
    Species:
    macrocarpa
    Family:
    Apocynaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Kenya to South Africa
    Edibility:
    Fruits have a raspberry-cranberry flavor
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Edible
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Appendage:
    Spines
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    9b, 9a, 10b, 10a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Showy
    Fruit Description:
    Oval, resemble plums, hence the common name. Immature green maturing to red or purple fleshy thin skinned edible.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Solitary
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Flower Shape:
    Star
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Description:
    5 petaled solitary fragrant star-shaped white flowers
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leathery
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Design Feature:
    Foundation Planting
    Hedge
    Screen/Privacy
    Security
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Salt
    Problems:
    Spines/Thorns