Carissa macrocarpa – the flower as pretty as its name!

Carissa macrocarpa – the flower as pretty as its name!

Carissa macrocarpa/Common names: Natal plum, Num-num, Amatungulu

Where will you find this beauty?

Carissa macrocarpa grows naturally in the coastal forest and dunes from Eastern Cape to Kwazulu Natal, making this a tremendous coastal plant.

Need a pretty hedge? Plant the Carissa macrocarpa

It is an evergreen, ornamental shrub with handsome glossy leaves which is wind resistant. Although it usually forms a dense thorny shrub, it may also grow into a small tree, especially in Kwazulu Natal. If planted close together, it will create a thick, impenetrable hedge. It can be pruned into shape or as a clipped hedge.

Want to make some jam?

The glossy leaves are dark green and oval-shaped, and the stems have long thorns. Starry, sweetly scented white flowers appear in spring and summer followed by ornamental, tomato-coloured  fruits rich in vitamin C. These are edible and may be made into jelly and jam.

No need to hide from the sun!

Carissa macrocarpa is relatively slow-growing if not planted in warmer, more humid areas. When pruned, white sap will appear on the wound. It prefers full sun but can tolerate light shade. It grows pretty quickly in good garden soil enriched with compost and needs regular watering in the summer in the winter rainfall area.  An organic mulch once a year will keep plants healthy.

Carissa macrocarpa

Perfect for low maintenance all year round.

It is a good container plant and a good landscaping plant for low maintenance coastal gardens, hedges, or mass planting.  It is, however frost tender, but attracts birds, bees and butterflies to the garden.

Carissa macrocarpa “Green Carpet” is the dwarf Num-num that grows up to 30 centimetres in height and spread evenly, making it an excellent groundcover with its smaller leaves, flowers and fruit.

Carissa species are one of South Africas tough, hardy plants that is worthwhile to plant.

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