Carissa macrocarpa (Eckl.) A. DC.
Carissa grandiflora (E. Mey.) A. DC.
Natal plum, amatungulu
The Natal plum is a native of Africa, where it is found along the coast, from the southern tip of South Africa, along its eastern coast up through Mozambique.
Identification: These plants usually form dense, thorny shrubs, growing on sandy soil, but can produce small trees up to 13' (4 m) high. Leaves are broad-ovate, tough, glossy, and leathery, shiny and dark on the top, but paler below, ¾-2" (2-6 cm) x ½-1¼" (1.5-3.5 cm), ending in a thorn-like point. Y-shaped thorns up to 1¾" (5 cm) long are also present. Broken branches exude a non-toxic thick, milky latex. Flowers are white, 5-lobed, and tubular, up to 2" (5 cm) around, and fragrant. Fruits are round or oval-shaped, up to 2½" (6.3 cm) x 1½" (3.8 cm), a bright lighter shade of red at first, darkening with age.
Edibility: Fruits are tasty raw or as jams and jellies.
Carissa macrocarpa on the South African National Biodiversity Institute's web site, plantzafrica.com
Carissa macrocarpa at Purdue University's Center for New Crops and Plants Products
Carissa macrocarpa on Wikipedia
Carissa macrocarpa description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.