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Carissa macrocarpa 'Boxwood Beauty'

Compact Natal Plum
  • Plant Type:
  • Shrub
  • Evergreen-Deciduous:
  • Evergreen
  • Overall Mature Size:
  • Small
  • Also Grown As:
  • Bush
  • Mature Height & Spread :
  • 2' x 2'
  • Natural Growth Habit:
  • Rounded
  • Native To:
  • Africa
  • Exposure:
  • Full Sun, Partial Shade
  • Water:
  • Medium Water, Low Water
  • Flower Color:
  • White
  • Bloom Time:
  • Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
  • Special Features:
  • Drought Resistant, Edible, Hedge, Seacoast Conditions, Shade Tolerant
  • Container Sizes:
  • #1, #5
  • Sunset Garden Zones:
  • 22-24


Carissa macrocarpa ‘Boxwood Beauty’ has the tight compact form of a Buxus but with the added bonus of lovely little scented blossoms and attractive fruit. Compact Natal Plum, as it’s also called, looks equally at home sheared into low formal hedges, or left to the natural low and mounding form it takes on. Carissa macrocarpa does best in sandy soil and full sun. It’s worth noting that Carissa is in the Dogbane family of plants. The fruit are edible and tasty, but all other parts of this plant are toxic. Watch for the spines if you decide to harvest them. Natal Plum is moderately drought tolerant and capable of dealing with salt spray and saline soils, so adding that touch of formal green to a beach house turns out to be far easier than it could be. For best results, plant Carissa macrocarpa where it will get full sun, and will be protected from frost.