Climbing Num Num

Carissa spinarum

Simple-Spined Num-Num, Small Num Num, Enkeldoringnoemnoem (Afr.), Ranknoemnoem, Kleinnoemnoem, Mothokolo (North Sotho), Murungulu (Venda), Mlugulu (Ndebele), Murambara, Muraramombe, Muraramombe, Muruguru, Mutsamviringwa, Nzambara, Esamviringa, Umsamviringwa (Shona), Morogola (Lovedu)

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Carissa edulis MS 1408 by [1] (CC BY-SA 3.0)
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Carissa edulis MS 1408 by [1] (CC BY-SA 3.0)
1 of 7
Carissa edulis or climbing num-num is a multi-branched, multi-stemmed spiny evergreen shrub or small tree, often growing up to 6 m tall and forms a dense canopy. All parts of the plant release white non-toxic milky latex. Young branches are green, smoothly covered with short hair, and older branches and stems become light brown and corky with deep cracks. The plant is covered in up to 7 cm long rigid spines that are not forked. Leaves are leathery, with smooth margins and are dark green above and paler below, growing either with or without hair. In addition to its fruits and flowers, it also makes a good hedging plant! ZA Distribution: Limpopo, Mpumalanga.

Planning

Difficulty

Easy

Flowering time

Summer, Spring

Fruiting time

Summer

Harvesting

One can pick the fruit once ripened. This occurs in the summertime.

Propagation

Seed

The seeds should be spaced 40 - 70cm from one another, and be sown at a depth as thick as the seed. The germination time is expected to be between 7-14 days.

Special features

Attracts birds

Hedge plant

Attractive flowers

Indoor plant

Wind break

Special features

Origin

Africa and Asia

Natural climate

Mediterranean to sub-tropical

Environment

Light

Full Sun

Soil moisture

Dry

Soil type

Sand, Loam

Soil PH preference

Neutral, Acid, Alkaline

Frost hardiness

Tender

Uses

Medicinal

The Climbing Num-num serves a number of medicinal purposes including treating chest and stomach pains, indigestion and can to treat abnormal pains during pregnancy.

Edible

The small round fruits, which turn dark purple when ripe, are sweet and can be eaten as such or be made into a jam.

Notes

Fuel. Pain killer. Treats malaria, indigestion and for abnormal pains during pregnancy. Treatment of dysentery. Remedy for chest complaints. Ease stomach ache, as a cough remedy or is dropped into the eye for cataract problems. Treats cancer and herpes.

Personality

Family

Apocynaceae

Flower colour

Pink, Purple

Scent

Mild

Problems

Not specified

Credits

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Carissa edulis by Thompson Mutshinyalo and Refilwe Malatji, Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden, June 2012 (Copyright South African National Biodiversity Institute, South Africa)