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A picture of a Natal Plum

Natal Plum

Carissa macrocarpa

Also known as

Big Num-Num, Groot Noemnoem (Afr.), Amatungulu

Full Sun
Easy care
Moderate watering
Tender

8a-11b

USDA zone

-12°C

Minimum temperature

Expected size

Height
Spread

5m

Max

3m

1m

Min

1m

Fruiting

  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

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.

More images

A photo of Natal Plum
A photo of Natal Plum
A photo of Natal Plum
A photo of Natal Plum
A photo of Natal Plum

Overview

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. ZA Distribution: Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Western Cape.

Common problems

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

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

Uses

Edible

The fruit is wonderful fresh or made into a preserve.

Edible

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