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Carissa macrocarpa 'Fancy'

Natal Plum
  • Plant Type:
  • Shrub
  • Evergreen-Deciduous:
  • Evergreen
  • Overall Mature Size:
  • Medium
  • Also Grown As:
  • Bush
  • Mature Height & Spread :
  • 5-7' x 5-7'
  • 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, #15
  • Sunset Garden Zones:
  • 22-24


Carissa macrocarpa ‘Fancy’ is an upright growing variety, with larger flowers and fruit than the straight species. The dark green lustrous foliage is the perfect backdrop for the blossoms, which resemble a cross between Star Jasmine and Plumeria. Bright red fruit are edible, and taste something like a cranberry, but sweeter. Watch for the spines if you decide to harvest them. As tasty as the fruit are, do be careful not to ingest any other part of the plant, as the leaves and flowers are quite toxic. It’s worth remembering that Carissa is in the Dogbane family of plants. Carissa macrocarpa does best in sandy soil and full sun. 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 be protected from frost.