Natal Plum

Carissa macrocarpa

Natal Plum Fruit Tree in Hands the flowers and the fruit for Australia

An ornamental shrub with large white star shaped fragrant flowers. The large edible plum has a soft pinkish flesh. Fruits are delicious eaten whole including their skin and seeds. The flesh is a sweet cranberry flavour and can be used fresh in desserts, ice cream, yogurt, cakes and sauces. Fruits preserve well as jams, jelly's and chutneys and can be frozen, dried or bottled. With its sharp thorns this shrub makes an effective and almost impenetrable hedge. It also makes a beautiful bonsai specimen. Trees are tolerant of salt and wind and do not have invasive root systems.


Specifications of Natal Plum

Preferred Climate SubtropicalLearn About Climate Zones

Grown From SeedlingLearn About Propagation Methods

Max Height (when in the ground with good conditions) 2-5m

Plants required to Pollinate 2 compatible plants (Pollination Required)Learn about Pollination

Can it Handle Frosts? Yes

Amount of leaves in Winter? All Leaves (Evergreen)

Suitability in Pots Yes

Water Requirements Drought Hardy (Little Watering)

Is it a Dwarf Fruit Tree? Can be pruned to 2m

Time to Fruit/Flower/Harvest 2-3 Years

Sun or Shade Full (Sun:80%-100%)

Preferred Soil Type Good Drainage

Soil pH Neutral (6.6-7.3pH)

Fruiting/Harvest Months March, April, May

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Natal Plum Reviews & Tips

Star Rating

Thomas Owen
4y ago

Los Angeles, CA

Natal Plum

These are found all over Los Angeles where they thrive. When I first moved to CA and walked by one of these hedges in full bloom and I thought it was a bush form of Jasmine because of its aroma and unknowingly tried to touch this thorned devil. LOL.

Tiki Swain
4y ago

Albany, WA, Australia

Natal Plum

We have some that were planted around the time I was born - which means they're now more than 40 years old and growing strong! They've had minimal care for many years and still flower and fruit. I grew up happily eating them.

Merv Bernie
9y ago

Gayndah, QLD

Natal Plum

I have several of these plants growing in my garden. This is the first year we have had fruit. They are tough little plants and the fruit is delicious

Peter Marsh
10y ago

Littlehampton, SOUTH AUSTRALIA, Australia

Natal Plum

I found this plant growing in the Adelaide Botanical Gardens and it was in fruit in September. Ones I found on the ground fell into my mouth and turned out to be the most delicious flavour. They grow well there but seem to do best in filtered light.

★★ 10y ago

KEPERRA, QLD, Australia

Glossy green leaves, good plant for a tough position. Starry, gardenia-smelling flowers. Would make an excellent hedge.Update November 2013. In all it's time has only produced one or two fruits despite the fact there are several plants nearby.

Martin W
10y ago

Keperra, QLD

Natal Plum

This plant is certainly ornamental and the spines ensure it makes a good hedge. Unfortunately, I have never had fruit on my plants (now 3 y.o.) but I did read that hand pollination may be the key.

★★★ 11y ago

Bardon, Qld, Australia

Spikey bush with hopefully yummy fruit.

David White
12y ago

Sydney/west Ryde, NSW

Natal Plum

A favourite in it's native South Africa where this dense shrub is used as a hedge to keep out the unwanted. It has vicious thorns! Fruit is tangy. Makes great jams and sauces. Bullet proof when established. Pretty little flowers smell like gardenias.

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