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Carissa grandiflora

Pronunciation: Kuh-riss-uh gran-dif-flor-uh
Family: Apocynaceae
Common Name: Natal plum, common carissa
Plant Type:
  • trees, shrubs
Height to: 10'
Width to: 10'
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • 30 to 20ºF ZONE 9
  • 40 to 30ºF ZONE 10
  • 50 to 40ºF ZONE 11
Sun Exposure:
  • part sun
Bloom Season:
  • early summer
  • mid summer
  • late summer
Notes for Identification: Introduction carissa is one of florida's and california's very best seaside shrubs. This moderately fast-growing, evergreen shrub has lustrous, leathery, rich green, oval leaves and spines along its branches. It is hard to find a plant with darker green leaves. Flowers are somewhat fragrant, white, and star-shaped. The bright red, edible, plum-shaped fruit tastes like cranberries and can be used to make jam. Flowers and fruit are quite showy and are often borne on the plant simultaneously. general information planting month for zone 9: year roundplanting month for zone 10 and 11: year roundorigin: not native to north americauses: bonsai; foundation; screen; border; mass planting; container or above-ground planter; fruit; espalier; ground cover; superior hedge; small parking lot islands (< 100 square feet in size); medium-sized parking lot islands (100-200 square feet in size); large parking lot islands (> 200 square feet in size) shaded area represents potential planting range. Availability: generally available in many areas within its hardiness rangedescription height: 6 to 10 feetspread: 4 to 10 feetplant habit: spreading; uprightplant density: densegrowth rate: moderatetexture: finefoliage leaf arrangement: opposite/suboppositeleaf type: simpleleaf margin: terminal spineleaf shape: ovateleaf venation: pinnateleaf type and persistence: evergreenleaf blade length: 2 to 4 inchesleaf color: greenfall color: no fall color changefall characteristic: not showyflower flower color: whiteflower characteristic: summer flowering; pleasant fragrancefruit fruit shape: ovalfruit length: 1 to 3 inchesfruit cover: fleshyfruit color: redfruit characteristic: suited for human consumption; persists on the planttrunk and branches trunk/bark/branches: not particularly showy; typically multitrunked or clumping stemscurrent year stem/twig color: greencurrent year stem/twig thickness: mediumculture light requirement: plant grows in part shade/part sunsoil tolerances: clay; sand; acidic; alkaline; loamdrought tolerance: highsoil salt tolerances: goodplant spacing: 36 to 60 inchesother roots: usually not a problemwinter interest: no special winter interestoutstanding plant: not particularly outstandinginvasive potential: not known to be invasivepest resistance: long-term health usually not affected by pestsuse and management natal plum will tolerate a variety of soils and exposures and only needs light pruning. Useful as a screen or hedge, it should not be planted too closely to walkways where its large, forked thorns can injure passersby. It makes a nice, full foundation shrub. While it thrives in full sun, natal plum can adapt to fairly heavy shade and requires only moderate watering and fertilization. Plant on three to six-foot centers for a hedge or mass planting, closer for the compact cultivars. Dwarf cultivars such as 'green carpet', 'horizontalis', and 'prostrata' make excellent groundcovers. Propagation is by seed or cuttings. Natal plum is relatively pest-free. Pests and diseases natal plum is susceptible to root rot when plants are overwatered. Source: u. S. Department of agriculture, cooperative extension service, university of florida, ifas
USDA Heat Zones (days above 86ºF):
  • 120 to 150 days ZONE 9
  • 150 to 180 days ZONE 10
  • 180 to 210 days ZONE 11
  • Greater then 210 ZONE 12
Seed photo: 0
Seed Label: 0
Located in: Trees, Shrubs
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