Variegated Natal Plum
Variegated Natal Plum
Carissa macrocarpa 'Variegata'Item #2286 USDA Hardiness Zone: 10 - 11
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Vibrant creamy to bright yellow variegation on edges of leathery green leaves. Intensely fragrant white star-shaped flowers. Edible red fruits make great jam. Great for coastal areas. Ideal hedge or erosion control. Thrives in all soils. Evergreen.
- DetailPlant type:ShrubDeciduous/evergreen:EvergreenSunset climate zones:22 - 27Growth rate:ModerateAverage landscape size:Moderate to fast growth 2 to 4 feet tall, 3 to 6 feet wide.Foliage color:VariegatedBlooms:All year in frost-free areasFlower color:WhiteFlower attributesFragrantGarden styleTropicalDesign IdeasA bright beauty for evergreen foundation planting and for filling in gaps in shrub borders. Resistance to reflected heat makes an excellent filler for along driveways and parking areas. Tolerance of coastal conditions proves a good choice for erosion control and in problem wind areas where other plants are too easily desiccated. Plant near outdoor living spaces to enjoy fragrant flowers. May be sheared into a semiformal hedge for defining space in gardens. Excellent backgrounder for bright semitropical perennials.Companion PlantsCombin with Blue Storm Lily of the Nile, (Agapanthus praecox orientalis 'ATIBlu'), Flamenco Flame Tropical Hibsicus, (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis 'MonHope'), Festival Grass, (Cordyline 'Jurred') and Purple Queen Bougainvillea, (Bougainvillea 'Moneth').
- CareCare InformationFollow a regular watering schedule during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system. Watering can be reduced after establishment. Feed with a general purpose fertilizer before new growth begins in spring.Light Needs:Full shade to full sunWatering Needs:Once established, needs only occasional watering.
- History & LoreHistory:The state of Natal is located along the Indian Ocean coast of South Africa. Unlike stifling inland temperatures, this area is cooled by sea breezes. Natal plum's thick leaves help it resist desiccation from these persistent winds. This and its tolerance of poor soils makes Carissa an important plant for coastal communities from Florida to California. The predecessors of this plant were wickedly thorny to protect from browsing wildlife.Lore:This plant earned its common name, Natal plum, from the edible fruit used by both Africans and colonials in the Natal Province of South Africa.