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A picture of a Tortoise Berry

Tortoise Berry

Muraltia spinosa

Also known as

Nylandtia Spinosa, Skilpadbessiebos (Afr.), Cargoe, Mmaba

Full Sun
Moderate care
Light watering
Tender

9a-11b

USDA zone

-7°C

Minimum temperature

Expected size

Height
Spread

1m

Max

1m

80cm

Min

80cm

Flowering

  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has no fragrance

More images of Tortoise Berry

Muraltia spinosa, spine-tipped branches
Muraltia spinosa, flowers
Muraltia spinosa, flowers and unripe fruit
Muraltia spinosa, growing on Slangkop, Kommetjie.
Muraltia spinosa, ripe fruits

Tortoise Berry Overview

A striking flowering shrub that has a mass of purple, pink and white pea-like flowers throughout winter (Apr - Oct). It is a rounded shrub with spines on the tips of the branches and has small narrow deciduous leaves. The fruits are small and rounded red fleshy fruits that are edible when ripe. The fruits attract tortoises and other animals. It has a moderate growth rate and quite hardy (water-wise and frost resistant). ZA Distribution: Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Western Cape.

Common problems with Tortoise Berry

Generally problem free.

    Tortoise Berry Companion Plants

    Other sand loving plants.

    How to harvest Tortoise Berry

    Grows best from seeds. Fruits can be eaten when red in colour.

    How to propagate Tortoise Berry

    Seed

    Sow in spring; spacing 1 m apart at a depth 1.5 times deeper than the size of the seed. Germination takes 2-3 weeks.

    Special features of Tortoise Berry

    Attracts birds

    Birds are attracted to the fruit.

    Drought resistant

    Attracts bees

    Pioneer

    Other uses of Tortoise Berry

    Edible

    The fruits are high in vitamin C and are thirst quenching.

    Medicinal

    Has a few traditional medicinal uses: cure for sleeplessness, abdominal pain, tuberculosis, bitter digestive, colds, flu's, bronchitis, malaria.

    Ornamental

    It makes a decorative garden shrub.

    Edible

    Medicinal

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