Scientific Name: Carissa macrocarpa (Eckl.) A. DC.
Synonym: Carissa grandiflora
Carissa macrocarpa 'Boxwood Beauty' unripe fruit Recommended Temperature
Frost Tolerance: Tender in Phoenix, needs some protection: foliage
damaged at 28° F (-2° C), serious damage at 24° F
Sun Exposure: Full sun to light shade
Origin: South Africa
Growth Habits: Evergreen shrub, with a loose mounding shape,
2 to 7 feet tall (0.6-2 m), 7 to 10 feet spread (2-3 m) the height
depends on the variety; stems generally thorny with forked spines,
milky sap; thick, oval, shiny dark green leaves
Watering Needs: Little to regular water in summer, tolerates
drought and some salt
The Natal Plum is a spiny South African shrub used as a hedge
or free standing, it has interestingly formed branches and shiny
deep-green leaves, offset by white and pink flowers. It grows
quickly and tolerates a wide range of lighting conditions, making
good barriers, hedges, low screens, and foundation plantings.
White, fragrant, solitary, star-shaped flowers, 1 to 2 inches
wide (2.5-5 cm), throughout the growing season.
In the summer and fall, the plant bears a 2 inches long (5 cm),
egg-shaped red fruit that exudes a white astringent latex unless
fully ripe. The fruit turns red when ripe, and can then be eaten
out-of-hand but also makes good cranberry-like preserves.
The Essential Gardener