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 Green Thumb Nursery - 319-393-5946 - Cedar Rapids, Iowa
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shrub

Tuttle's Natal Plum*

Carissa macrocarpa 'Tuttle'

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Tuttle's Natal Plum (Carissa macrocarpa 'Tuttle') at Peck's Green Thumb Nursery

Tuttle's Natal Plum

Tuttle's Natal Plum

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Tuttle's Natal Plum (Carissa macrocarpa 'Tuttle') at Peck's Green Thumb Nursery

Tuttle's Natal Plum foliage

Tuttle's Natal Plum foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

* This is a "special order" plant - contact store for details

Height:  3 feet

Spread:  6 feet

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  8

Description:

A low growing, bushy evergreen broadleaf shrub that forms a great groundcover; rounded glossy leaves add a tropical element; can be maintained as a low hedge as well; very spiny

Edible Qualities

Tuttle's Natal Plum is a small shrub that is commonly grown for its edible qualities, although it does have ornamental merits as well. It produces red oval berries which are typically harvested when mature. The berries have a tart taste.

The berries are most often used in the following ways:

  • Cooking
  • Preserves

Features & Attributes

Tuttle's Natal Plum has attractive dark green foliage which emerges coppery-bronze in spring. The glossy round leaves are highly ornamental and remain dark green throughout the winter. It features dainty white star-shaped flowers along the branches from early spring to late winter. It produces red berries from late spring to late fall.

This is a multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition. This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Spiny

Aside from its primary use as an edible, Tuttle's Natal Plum is sutiable for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • General Garden Use
  • Groundcover
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Tuttle's Natal Plum will grow to be about 3 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 6 feet. It has a low canopy. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 20 years.

This shrub is quite ornamental as well as edible, and is as much at home in a landscape or flower garden as it is in a designated edibles garden. It should only be grown in full sunlight. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn't be allowed to dry out. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in rich soils, and is able to handle environmental salt. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.

Tuttle's Natal Plum is a good choice for the edible garden, but it is also well-suited for use in outdoor pots and containers. With its upright habit of growth, it is best suited for use as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. Note that when grown in a container, it may not perform exactly as indicated on the tag - this is to be expected. Also note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden. Be aware that in our climate, this plant may be too tender to survive the winter if left outdoors in a container. Contact our store for more information on how to protect it over the winter months.

This plant is NOT RELIABLY WINTER HARDY and considered "TROPICAL" in our region. It must be over-wintered inside with supplemental heat or used as a 1-season annual plant. The plant's desirable characteristics make it a good choice for growing in patio containers or flower gardens. Contact the store for care and over-wintering information.

 

* This is a "special order" plant - contact store for details

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Massing  Garden  Groundcover  Container 
Applications
Flowers  Fruit  Foliage Color 
Ornamental Features

This Plant Finder tool is an online catalog representing many of the varieties that we carry over the course of the season, and is intended for informational purposes only. Inventory varies seasonally, so we cannot guarantee that every plant will be in stock at all times - please contact the store directly for availability. It does not include our entire inventory of plants, so be sure to visit our store to see varieties that may not be represented on this list.