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Milberger's Nursery and Landscaping
3920 North Loop 1604 E.
San Antonio, TX 78247

Open 9 to 6 Mon. through Sat.
and 10 to 5 on Sun.

Three exits east of 281, inside of 1604
Next to the Diamond Shamrock station
Please click map for more detailed map and driving directions.

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Natal Plum

Scientific Name: Carissa macrocarpa (Eckl.) A. DC.
Synonym: Carissa grandiflora
Family: Apocynaceae
Carissa macrocarpa 'Boxwood Beauty' unripe fruit Recommended Temperature Zone:
sunset: 13,22-27
USDA: 9b-10

Frost Tolerance: Tender in Phoenix, needs some protection: foliage damaged at 28° F (-2° C), serious damage at 24° F (-4° C)

Sun Exposure: Full sun to light shade

Origin: South Africa

Growth Habits: Evergreen shrub, with a loose mounding shape, 2 to 7 feet tall (0.6-2 m), 7 to 10 feet spread (2-3 m) the height depends on the variety; stems generally thorny with forked spines, milky sap; thick, oval, shiny dark green leaves

Watering Needs: Little to regular water in summer, tolerates drought and some salt

The Natal Plum is a spiny South African shrub used as a hedge or free standing, it has interestingly formed branches and shiny deep-green leaves, offset by white and pink flowers. It grows quickly and tolerates a wide range of lighting conditions, making good barriers, hedges, low screens, and foundation plantings.


Blooming Habits:
White, fragrant, solitary, star-shaped flowers, 1 to 2 inches wide (2.5-5 cm), throughout the growing season.

Fruiting Habits:
In the summer and fall, the plant bears a 2 inches long (5 cm), egg-shaped red fruit that exudes a white astringent latex unless fully ripe. The fruit turns red when ripe, and can then be eaten out-of-hand but also makes good cranberry-like preserves.

The Essential Gardener