Carissa bispinosa

Botanical name

Carissa bispinosa

Other names

Num-num; noemnoem (Afrikaans)

Family

Apocynaceae

Dimensions

Shrub or small tree, may reach 4 m

Description of stem

Many-stemmed and branching, bark light grey, younger stems green; characteristically forked or doubly forked spines

Description of leaves

Ovate, leathery, dark green above, lighter below, glabrous, only central vein prominent, base round but variable, margin entire, rolled under

Description of flowers

White, occasionally slightly pink; tube of petals opening in overlapping positions; terminal clusters occurring in Spring

Description of seed/fruit

Red, ovoid, edible; 1,5 cm; May to October

Description of roots

 

Variation

Variations bispinosa and acuminata occurring with some intermediate forms

Propagation and cultivation

 

Tolerances

 

Uses

Garden plant, edible fruit, browsed by game

Ecological rarity

Common

Pests and diseases

Tends to get scale or fungus in shady areas

Other

 

Location

Dry woodland, coastal scrub and forest margins

Distribution (SA provinces)

Limpopo; Mpumalanga; Gauteng; Northwest; Free State; Kwazulu-Natal; Eastern Cape; Western Cape

Country

South Africa; Mozambique; Swaziland; Lesotho