Natal Plum

Natal plum. It is a species of shrub in the apocinaceae family that has the scientific name Carissa macrocarpa. It is native to southern Africa . It has edible fruits. It is rich in Vitamin C . It is also known by the names Carisa, Natal Cherry.


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  • 1 Taxonomy
    • 1 Scientific name
      • 1.1 Authors
    • 2 Basonym
      • 2.1 Basonym combinations
    • 3 Synonymy
    • 4 Common name
  • 2 Origin
  • 3 Description
  • 4 Crop
  • 5 References
  • 6 Sources


Scientific name

  • Carissa macrocarpa (Eckl.) A. DC. [1] [2] [3]


  • Candolle, Alphonse Louis Pierre Pyramus de
  • Published in: Prodromus Systematis Naturalis Regni Vegetabilis 8: 336. 1844. (Mar 1844 ) [4]


  • Arduina macrocarpa Eckl. [5]

Basonym combinations

  • Jasminonerium macrocarpum (Eckl.) Kuntze [6]


  • Arduina grandiflora E. Mey.
  • Arduina macrocarpa Eckl.
  • Carissa grandiflora (E. Mey.) A. DC. [7]
  • African Carissa A.DC.
  • Carissa Carandas Lour.
  • Carissa praetermissa Kupicha
  • Jasminonerium africanum (A.DC.) Kuntze
  • Jasminonerium grandiflorum (E.Mey.) Kuntze
  • Jasminonerium macrocarpum (Eckl.) Kuntze [8]

Common name

Natal plum, carisa, Natal cherry.


  • Africa.



Thorny shrub leaves perennial native to the coastal areas of Natal province in South Africa . Its leaves are bright dark green ; thick and leathery, being able to resist drying by winds and the brackish breeze coming from the sea. The spines are thick and branched, Y-shaped.

It has large white flowers about 5 cm in diameter. When ripe, the fruits are red, very striking, egg-shaped, about 4 cm long. When cut, it oozes a whitish latex, which makes it an unusual and exotic fruit. The pulp is sweet and rich in vitamin C, with a pleasant flavor. The fruits must be eaten fully ripe, since if they are not they are toxic. The fruits can be processed to prepare preserves, jams and juices. These can be harvested throughout the summer and fall .



It is a rustic, undemanding plant that can be grown in various types of soils, although it prefers sandy and well-drained ones; tolerates salinity and poor soils. It supports dry periods , although it needs regular watering for proper fruiting. In the case of excessive water shortages, the plant will grow more slowly and may even go so far as to lack fruit that season.

Its cultivation in full sun or under a little shade is recommended, preventing the shading from being total. Withstands strong heat, but with humidity in the ground. It does not tolerate frost, although if it is soft, the leaves burn by sprouting in spring .

It is a very appropriate shrub for the tropical and subtropical garden, with very little maintenance. It is a plant of great ornamental beauty due to its dense and compact foliage. It is ideal for live hedges, being able to be planted along the fence of a garden . Depending on the variety, it can reach two to three meters in height. There are dwarf, barely spineless varieties that grow up to a meter. On the same plant we can find flowers and fruits that stand out against the dark green foliage. They can be planted in stands, gardens, golf courses, flower pots, balconies.


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