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Natal Plum   /   Carissa macrocarpa

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Everything about: Natal Plum

Natal Plum - Carissa Macrocarpa (latin)

Areas of origin: South Africa
Adult dimensions: Height up to 2.5 metres, width up to 2.5 metres.
Foliage: Evergreen.
Soil type: All, even salty. Rich and deep
Hardiness: cold-tolerant to -5°C, deals well with salty ocean sprays
Exposure: semi-shade to full sun.

Properties and uses:
Although it is not a hardy bush, which limits its plantation in the Mediterranean area or along the Atlantic coast, this Natal Plum has uncommon advantages.
It is quite sturdy and has no problem with drought, windy spots, salty soils and even salty ocean sprays.
The branches are armed with bifid sharp thorns and a dense foliage, which makes it a defensive bush.
The blooming, very close to that of the Night Blooming Jasmine, takes place from May to September. The flowers are white and give out a delicious perfume at night, attracting butterflies and other night-flying pollinating insects.
The fruits are first green, then red. They appear in July and August and the harvest is done in Autumn. The pulp is sweet and juicy, but the seeds are toxic if eaten, so the consumption of the fruit is only for insiders.

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