Characteristics of Carandas Plum Tree (Carissa carandas) in the Wild

Carissa carandas
Carandas plum or Karanda (Carissa carandas) is a species of shrub or small tree in the Apocynaceae family, native to southern Asia. It produces a fruit that is commonly used as a spice in Indian cooking and as a spice.

Carandas plums are found in abundance in the Western Ghats of the Konkan region of the western coastal states of Maharashtra and Goa. But it also grows naturally in the Himalayas, India, and Nepal at an altitude of 30-1,800 m above sea level. While in Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh, it grows in lowland rain forests.



Ripe fruit is rich in iron, vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium, and phosphorus.

The fruit was used in the ancient Indian system of herbal medicine, Ayurveda, to treat indigestion, fresh wounds, wound infections, skin diseases, urinary disorders, diabetic ulcers, stomach ache, constipation, anemia, anorexia, and insanity.

Decoction of the leaves is used to treat fever, diarrhea, and earache.

The roots are efficacious as a stomach remedy, anthelmintic drug for itching, and also as an insect repellent.

In India, ripe fruit is harvested for pickling or other preparations.

In ancient times, British colonials who were in India also made jellies, jams, and syrups from it.


Characteristics of Carandas Plum Leaf

Carissa carandas Leaf
The leaves are arranged opposite and short-stemmed. The simple leaves are dark green, leathery, round to oval, glossy at the top, 3-8 cm long, and 2-4 cm wide. Each leaf blade has about eight pairs of lateral nerves.


Characteristics of Carandas Plum Flower

Carissa carandas Flower
The flowers are white, hermaphrodite, and fivefold with a double inflorescence envelope. The five sepals are small, 2.5-7 mm long, and have many glands on the inside at the base. The base of the petals is red to white, fused to a tubular shape up to 2 cm long.


Characteristics of Carandas Plum

Carissa carandas Fruit
The fruit is oval, about 1.5-2.5 cm in diameter, green when young, and turns red to blackish purple when ripe. The taste of the flesh is sour, reddish, and very juicy. Each fruit contains 8 seeds, brown and flat in shape.

The fruiting season is early summer to late summer.


Characteristics of Carandas Plum Tree

Carissa carandas Tree
Carandas plum grows as a shrub or small tree that can reach a height of up to 5 meters. The branches have spines up to 5 cm long, paired, simple or branched, stiff, and very sharp. The bark is brown, thick, and wrinkled. All parts of the tree have a milky sap when injured.

Carandas plum is a tough tree, it is very drought tolerant and can grow in various types of soil. Its growth is relatively fast and is very suitable to be planted as an ornamental tree or garden fence.



This tree is easy to grow from seed. Ripe fruit can be crushed to take the seeds and immediately planted. They will grow quickly if planted at the beginning of the rainy season (although in any season Carandas plum seeds can still grow).

Trees raised from seed begin to bear fruit 2-3 years after planting.


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