Carissa edulis

Carissa edulis


Common Names

Climbing Numnum (english)
Ranknoemnoem (afrikaans)
mothokolo (n. sotho)
murungulu (venda)


Genus Carissa
Species edulis
SA Plant Number 640.4
Basionym Carissa edulis


Carissa edulis is a hardy, much-branched, evergreen, fast growing shrub or climber that has glossy, leathery leaves, which are sometimes hairy and have red growing tips. The hard rigid spines are almost always single.

Masses of beautiful, white flowers tinged with pink appear from September to December. These are followed by edible fruit that turns purplish-black when ripe, and because it is so sweet and juicy, makes a good jam or jelly.

The fruits attract birds to the garden.

It makes a good hedging plant, whether pruned to keep compact or left to grow freely. It needs to be controlled in a smaller garden but can be allowed to grow wild if you have the space where it will scramble through the trees.

Can be grown in semi-shade, but prefers full sun and flowers more profusely in the sun.

Size 1 to 3m


Food plant:

The flowers attract pollinating insects and the fruit attracts fruit eating birds.



Makes a good hedge - whether clipped or left to grow wild.


The sweet, juicy fruit makes a good jelly or jam.


Limpopo, Mpumalanga

Natural Habitat:

Woodland, scrub and often on termitaria and along rivers.


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