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A picture of a Wild Plum

Wild Plum

Harpephyllum caffrum

Also known as


Full Sun
Easy care
Moderate watering


RHS hardiness


Minimum temperature

Expected size








2 years to reach maturity


  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

Fruits can be harvested once they have ripened in autumn. Pick as needed.

More images of Wild Plum

Photo Geoff Nichols
Flowers of H. caffrum. Photo Geoff Nichols

Wild Plum Overview

Wild Plum can be trained to grow as a bonsai or as an ornamental garden tree. This drought resistant tree attracts birds and butterflies into the garden. With its thick crown and somewhat drooping leaves, the wild plum is a good shade tree.

Common problems with Wild Plum

Wild Plum is generally not bothered by pests or diseases.

    Wild Plum Companion Plants

    Under plant with dry shade loving plants.

    How to propagate Wild Plum


    Soak stored seeds in water for a day and then scrub with a brush to remove the fleshy part. Sow shallowly in trays filled with river sand or a normal potting soil. Germination takes 7-20 days.


    Dry truncheons in the shade for at least a day before planting. Fill the hole in which the truncheon is going to be planted with a layer of river sand to promote root formation and improve drainage.

    Special features of Wild Plum

    Drought resistant

    These plants are fairly drought tolerant once established.

    Attracts birds

    Knysna Turaco, Purple-crested Turaco, Trumpeter Hornbill, Phoeniculus purpureus (Green wood-hoopoe), Cape Parrot, Mousebirds, Barbets, Bulbuls, Louries, and African Green Pigeons feast on the fruit.

    Attracts useful insects

    Larvae of the common hairtail butterfly (Anthene definite) and the Eggar moth (Lasiocampa kollikerii) feed on leaves of this tree.

    Hedge plant

    Plant closely together, they can make a good high screen.

    Attracts bees

    Other uses of Wild Plum


    The bark is a popular traditional medicine used to treat acne and eczema and is usually applied in the form of facial saunas and skin washes.


    The fruits are edible and can be used to make jams and jellies. With their sour taste, they are a good option for making rosé.

    Other uses



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