Natal Plum is a member of the Dogbane family (Apocynaceae), which includes oleander and periwinkle. It is not related to true Plums, which are members of the Rose family. It is an evergreen shrub, with a loose mounding shape, 2 to 7 feet tall (0.6-2 m), 7 to 10 feet spread (2-3 m), the height depends on the variety; stems generally thorny with forked spines, milky sap; thick, oval with shiny dark green leaves. It has white, fragrant, solitary, star-shaped flowers, one-to-two inch wide (2.5-5 cm), throughout the growing season. In the summer and fall, the plant bears a two inch long (5 cm), egg-shaped red fruit that exudes a white astringent latex unless fully ripe. The fruit turns red when ripe, and can then be eaten out-of-hand, but also makes good cranberry-like preserves.