California Gardens - The Year Round Gardening Site

Carissa macrocarpa * Natal Plum (syn = Carissa grandiflora)

Carissa macrocarpa has gorgeous fragrant flowers to mask those wicked spines. The thorns will often help keep wayward walkers from taking shortcuts. Carissa macrocarpa has white flowers most of the year. The fruit of the Natal Plum is edible but the rest of the plant is not. Carissa macrocarpa can form a dense hedge, or if left un-pruned will grow to as much as 6 feet tall and 10 wide. If sheared the cut margins of the leaves show for a long time and turn gray. Carissa macrocarpa is more tolerant of salt than most plants and is native to the coastal brush and dune areas of South Africa. There are quite a few dwarf varieties such as Green Carpet, Tomlinson, Tuttle, Boxwood Beauty, and Prostrata that typically grow to 2 feet tall and 3 wide. Carissa macrocarpa does best in frost free gardens but will survive temperatures into the 20°s F for short durations

High resolution photos of Carissa macrocarpa are part of our garden image collection.

Carissa macrocarpa, Natal Plum