"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Unknown plant

RMan and I went to Mossel Bay today - on a shopping trip for the farm / tractor.

As we were leaving Mossel Bay I spied a bush on the side of the road.  Unfortunately I didn't get a pic of it, but I did nab three berries - three large berries.

The bush - I think it was pruned, and had green thorns and lots of very pretty white star-like flowers and loads of these large berries.
A sticky white liquid quickly oozes from the
berry as soon as it is picked from the bush
The first thing I noticed was that as soon as they were picked the crown where the berry met the branch started oozing - a white, very sticky fluid.  I immediately wrapped them in newspaper - so they wouldn't leak the sticky gum in the car.
3 hours later the sticky white fluid is still visible
in the flesh and around the edges of the berry
When we got home I broke one of the berries open and this is what they look like inside...
The seeds are almost identical to watermelon
seeds, only much smaller
In the pic above you can clearly see the seeds - almost like small watermelon seeds.  The flesh is most appealing - soft and juicy.  I can't pick up any significant smell.

Does anyone know what it is?

If it's indigenous I fancy trying to grow them from seed.  It's a very attractive bush and should also attract birdlife :)  Maybe even the field mice might fancy it - more than they fancy my tomatoes and butternut...  That would be a win, and would form another aspect to eco-friendly pest control.

23 comments:

Sue said...

No idea--but it's interesting.
You could always take it to a nursery and see if they know.
I'd be careful until you determine if it's poisenous or not.

Dani said...

Sue - I wouldn't dream of tasting - especially in view of it's extreme "gumminess". Very curious to know what it is though...

Shrimpton and Perfect said...

Sorry, can't help. But it's very pretty, hope it's not a poisonous plant.

Jean
x

Mum said...

Haven't the faintest idea. What an unusual plant.
xx

Mum said...

Me again. Do you think it's a num-num plant?

https://qwerkie.wordpress.com/tag/num-num-jam-carissa-macrocarpa/

xx

kymber said...

i think Mum is right - i checked the link and then did a google image search. i have never heard of, nor seen one.

but an interesting historical fact - ancient herbologists and medicine people from a variety of cultures always test-tasted new foods. the first step is to put a small piece of the herb, berry, plant, whatever on your tongue. just let it sit there for a few seconds - don't chew or suck. if it isn't outrightly bitter to the point of having to spit it out (which means it's indigestible or poison), you wait a few days and notice any changes in your body. then a few days later you chew a tiny portion for a few seconds and then spit it out. you wait a few days and notice any changes in your body. after those few days, if you still haven't had any strange reaction, you ingest a small piece. and wait a few days and notice any changes in your body. that's when the medicine person would ingest the whole plant, fruit, herb, wait a few days and notice any changes. if there were no strange reactions - then the herb, plant, fruit was considered healthy to consume. interesting eh?

much love! your friend,
kymber

Martin Hatchuel said...

http://www.plantzafrica.com/plantcd/carisbispin.htm

Dani said...

Jean - Nope - turns out it's not ;)

Dani said...

Mum - You are a clever girl :)

Silly me. There was a sign which said "Num Num" pointing to the road which was lined with these plants. I had never heard of "Num Num" before so I didn't tie them together. But, following your link, you are correct :)

Dani said...

kymber - Oh, I'm so glad I didn't have to be one of the ancient herbalists / medicine people. What a ruddy drawn out process - fraught with danger LOL

Dani said...

Martin - Welcome to my blog and thank you for taking the time to comment. Thank you - you've confirmed the identification :)

African Bliss said...

Num Num a truly delicious indigenous fruit...well worth having in the garden.We used them often in landscaping on the coast due to their tolerance to salt laden air. Dani this would be a good plant for you guys as it is water wise and therefore resistant to drought.

Dani said...

AB - Cool. Only problem is that I read that the berries are poisonous for dogs - so RMan isn't so keen. Also, dunno if it will handle frost??

Harry Flashman said...

You got me. I am not very good with plant identification. I think you should send Kymber one. Then if she stops posting don't eat any of them!

Dani said...

Harry - Bwahahahaha

African Bliss said...

Like I said Dani we used it extensively in landscaping and in our own garden where we had dogs....no problemo.I have also never heard of a dog being poisoned by the num num berry, i stand to be corrected but I think it is the leaf and stems that are poisonous which is the case with a lot of plants containing latex like sap. Unless you have a puppy or extremely hungry dog you might then find they might eat the stems or leaves. It is also wind resistant ( so suitable for your area ) and as far as I know can resist moderate temps just below zero..I hope this helps you make up your mind Dani. Have a beautiful day.

Dani said...

AB - Details here:

http://www.eattheweeds.com/natal-plums-num-num/

or

http://www.foodwithastory.co.za/Blog/959/Veldkos-finds---the-Num-Num

Bill said...

I'd never heard of or seen a Num Num fruit before, but it looks delicious to me. :)

Dani said...

Bill - Neither had I lol

I had a small taste - it's quite delicious - definitely more-ish. Guess I'll have to plant the seeds... ;)

kymber said...

why Harry - i can't believe you said that! and i can't believe that you laughed Dani!!!! but honestly, i would have loved to be an ancient herbalist!

Dani said...

(giggle) I had that feeling about you kymber...

Diana Studer said...

We've often planted them, for a thorny hedge. But, never seen any fruit. We'll be planting one again here.

Dani said...

Diana - I have planted some seeds in a tray - if they grow, they'll be planted out ;)