Natal Plum

Carissa macrocarpa

A hardy drought tolerant shrub from South Africa with evergreen foliage, and edible glossy, red fruit.

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Natal Plum

The Natal Plum has gorgeous glossy green leaves with superbly fragrant flowers. Suitable for hedging, its thorns make the shrub a useful and impenetrable barrier. The glossy red fruit, which is high in vitamin C, can be eaten fresh off the bush or made it into a delicious sauce. Be aware, both the leaves and sap are poisonous. Called noem-noem in its native South Africa, it is adaptable to a wide variety of soils and is drought tolerant once established.

How to grow

Natal plums grow in a wide variety of soils, and while tolerant of dry conditions and poor soils, they do best in a rich organic soil. Tip prune as it grows to ensure a dense shrub and fertilise in spring. Apply supplementary water during the warmer months until established. Frost tender while young. Prune to shape in autumn. Drought tolerant once established.

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