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Apocynaceae, Carissa macrocarpa, Natal Plum

June 22, 2009

The Natal Plum is thought to have originated in province of Natal, South Africa. It enjoys hot climates and is very drought and salt tolerant, often grown near to the ocean.

Can be managed at two to seven feet, with a spread of seven to ten feet. Great for a dense hedges and impenetrable boarders/barriers. Has attractive, fragrant white flowers. The oval, red fruits and attractive flowers appear simultaneously.  The plant will continue to flower and fruit when pruned heavily.

The fruit can be eaten raw, but tends to be more often used in making jellies, marmalades.

Once established, most Carissa species do best with minimal water and, as mentioned, are tolerant of salt spray and salty soil. This and other Carissa species are valuable when used as low buffers/windbreaks providing protection for less wind/salt tolerant trees.

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