Alert: Limited Online Availability

Now that summer is here, we have limited our stock for online purchase. Find Monrovia plants at your local garden center. Pre-order for 2023 will be available later this year. ×

Tomlinson Natal Plum

Carissa macrocarpa 'Tomlinson'

An attractive dwarf evergreen shrub with lustrous, leathery leaves and a compact habit. Small thorns are tucked within the dense foliage - an improvement over thornier varieties. Fragrant white flowers produce edible, wine-red fruit. Excellent for foundation or hedge plantings, or for use as a container specimen.
There are very few rules in gardening, but perhaps the most important one is to work within your zone. Choosing plants that grow and thrive in your particular climate is the very first step toward having a beautiful garden . Learn More

Your climate might be too cold for this plant: 8


Full sun

Allow soil to dry between waterings.


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Botanical Pronunciationkar-ISS-uh ma-kro-KAR-puh
LoreThis plant originates in Natal, South Africa. There it's edible fruit was valued by the Zulu who named it amatungula. Colonials harvested the fruit as well making it a popular source of jam and jelly enjoyed during afternoon tea. Enjoy fresh, in preserves, or baked in pies.
Average Size at MaturitySlowly reaches 2 to 3 ft. tall, 3 ft. wide.
Bloom TimeIntermittently spring to fall.
Design IdeasThis Natal Plum is perfect for smaller bungalow gardens and anywhere space is limited. Provides low-maintenance, forest-green foliage with highly fragrant flowers and big fruit. A structural component of many landscapes in warm-winter regions. Valuable for the sandy soils along the coast. Usually planted as an informal hedge in narrow or raised planting areas. May be sheared or left in a natural linear mass. Use in irregularly shaped clusters to fill wider planting areas. Drought resistant and takes reflected heat from patios, walks or driveway. Also does equally well in pots on rooftop gardens, balconies and decks.
Deciduous/ EvergreenEvergreen
Flower AttributeFragrant, Long Bloom Season
Flower ColorWhite
Foliage ColorGreen
Garden StyleContemporary, Tropical
Growth HabitRounded
Growth RateSlow
Landscape UseBarrier, Border, Hedge
Light NeedsFull sun
Special FeatureEasy Care, Edible, Showy Fruit, Waterwise, Compact Form
Water NeedsModerate
Watering NeedsAllow soil to dry between waterings.
Companion PlantsBird of Paradise (Strelitzia); Loropetalum (Loropetalum); Dietes (African Iris); Shrub Rose (Rosa); Bottlebrush (Callistemon)

Adaptable to a wide range of soils, given ample drainage. Water deeply, regularly during the first growing season to establish an extensive root system. Once established, reduce frequency; tolerates periodic drought. Apply fertilizer before new growth begins in spring. Prune to shape in spring after initial bloom.

This Plant's Growing Zones: 10-11

USDA Cold Hardiness Zone Map

Your USDA Cold Hardiness Zone: 8

Your climate may be too cold for this plant