Carissa macrocarpa is a species of flowering shrub or small tree in the family Apocynaceae, commonly known as Natal plum or large num-num. It is native to South Africa and is also found in other parts of the world, including Florida, Hawaii, and Australia.
The plant has glossy, dark green leaves and produces white, star-shaped flowers with a sweet fragrance. The fruit of Carissa macrocarpa is a red to purple berry that is edible and has a sweet taste when fully ripe. The fruit is also used in jams, jellies, and desserts.
Carissa macrocarpa is a popular ornamental plant due to its attractive foliage, fragrant flowers, and edible fruit. It can grow up to 3 meters tall and prefers full sun to partial shade and well-draining soil. The plant is also drought-tolerant and can tolerate salty coastal conditions.
In traditional medicine, the bark and leaves of Carissa macrocarpa have been used to treat a variety of ailments, including stomach disorders, wounds, and fever. The plant contains compounds such as alkaloids, flavonoids, and tannins that have potential therapeutic benefits.
However, it's important to note that while the fruit is edible, other parts of the plant contain toxic compounds and should not be consumed. Additionally, it can be invasive in some areas and should be grown with caution.