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Plant Informational Database

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Carissa bispinosa

An African fruit similar to the Natal Plum, though a bit smaller in size. Fruits are elongated, red skinned, with juicy red pulp that is described as quite tasty. Much lesser known than the Natal Plum but still desirable as an edible fruit.

Seed Availability

Seeds are not available for the Num Num. Please visit our seed store to view current selections. Seeds were last available in October 2016.


A small shrub, or occasionally a tree, growing to 5-15 feet. The branches are thorny and contain a milky sap. The flowers are small (much smaller than the Natal Plum), white and have a sweet smell. Flowering and fruiting can occur for much of the year.


Plants are very mildly frost hardy, but the species does best in warm areas.

Growing Environment

Grow in full sun. Plants are somewhat drought tolerant and are highly tolerant of winds and salty breezes. Though drought tolerant, plants should be watered regularly during growing seasons.


By seeds.


Fruits are eaten fresh and can be used to make jams and jellies. The fruits are locally commercialized and are sometimes available in local markets and roadside stands. The plants are also popular as decorative shrubs and hedges.

Native Range

Native to much of the southern portion of Africa and north to Kenya.

Related Species

Adenium obesum
Desert Rose
Carissa bispinosa
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Carissa carandas
Carissa macrocarpa
Natal Plum
Carissa wyliei
Forest Num Num
Couma utilis
Hancornia speciosa
Plumeria obtusa, P. rubra
Willughbeia angustifolia
Willughbeia coriacea
Willughbeia coriacea
Willughbeia elmerii
Willughbeia elmerii
Willughbeia sarawakensis
Willughbeia sarawakensis