A beautiful shrub with a habit of fast growing. It is also good as hedging plant, because of its large sized thorns.
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.
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.
Natal Plum is susceptible to root rot when plants are overwatered.
Leaf arrangement: opposite/subopposite
Leaf type: simple
Leaf margin: terminal spine
Leaf shape: ovate
Leaf venation: pinnate
Leaf type and persistence: evergreen
Leaf blade length: 2 to 4 inches
Leaf color: green
Fall color: no fall color change
Fall characteristic: not showy Flower
Flower color: white
Flower characteristic: summer flowering; pleasant fragrance
Trunk/bark/branches: not particularly showy; typically multi-trunked or clumping stems
Current year stem/twig color: green
Current year stem/twig thickness: medium
Light requirement: plant grows in part shade/part sun
Soil tolerances: clay; sand; acidic; alkaline; loam
Drought tolerance: high
Soil salt tolerances: good
Plant spacing: 36 to 60 inches