Natal Plum

Carissa macrocarpa

Amatungulu, Big Num-Num

1 of 7
1 of 7
The Natal Plum is a dense thorny evergreen shrub to small tree. The oval, pink or red fruit is edible and rich in Vitamin C, magnesium and phosphorous and follows pretty fragrant white starry flowers. It may also, in addition to its sweet fruit and sweetly scented flowers, double as a neat security hedge. It is easy to grow in coastal regions and an option for xeriscaping and windy areas.
Free download for your phone or tablet
Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Planning

Difficulty

Easy

Flowering time

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Fruiting time

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Harvesting

Harvest the fruits once mature and good color has developed. This occurs roughly two years after it was planted. Be delicate when picking the fruits as they bruise easily and use as fresh as possible.

Propagation

Seed

The seed is best sown fresh or in the spring. Keep moist until well-rooted.

Cuttings

Take 10-15cm cuttings in Spring or Autumn.

Special features

Attracts birds

The fruit is a food source for many birds and other animals too!

Attracts useful insects

Bees love to visit the flowers.

Drought resistant

Once established, the plant can withstand dry spells and wind.

Hedge plant

Effective evergreen hedge with thorns makes it an effective security fence. it is often clipped in a more formal form too!

Attractive flowers

White fragrant star-shaped flowers with five petals.

Attractive leaves

Glossy green leaves.

Attractive fruits

The fruit is a glossy pinkish red colour. It is edible and is highly nutritional.

Attracts butterflies

Wind break

Attracts bees

Special features

Origin

Southern Africa, South Africa and Mozambique

Natural climate

Subtropical Coastal

Environment

Light

Full Sun, Full Shade, Partial Shade, Partial Sun

Soil moisture

Moist

Soil type

Loam, Sand

Soil PH preference

Neutral, Acid

Frost hardiness

Tender

Uses

Edible

The fruit is wonderful fresh or made into a preserve.

Personality

Family

Apocynaceae

Flower colour

White

Scent

Strong

Problems

Diseases include bacterial, fungal and viral infections, but usually plants are problem-free.

Related Problems

Credits

profile iconCarissa macrocarpa
by Berenice Carolus, Harold Porter NBG, March 2004. With additions by Yvonne Reynolds (Copyright South African National Biodiversity Institute, South Africa)
Free download for your phone or tablet
Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Knowledge and advice

Search our ever-growing knowledge base to find plants and information. Find out about pests and diseases you should be keeping an eye out for. Watch How to videos or follow step by step guides for tasks in the garden. Free download for your phone or tablet.
Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play