The cocoplum (Chrysobalanus icaco) is a shrub (1 to 3 m) or bushy tree (2 to 6 m, rarely to 10 m) that is found near sea beaches and inland throughout tropical America and the Caribbean, including southern Florida and the Bahamas.
The inland subspecies is C. icaco pellocarpus. It has evergreen broad-oval to nearly round somewhat leathery leaves (3 to 10 cm long and 2.5 to 7 cm wide).
Leaf colors range from green to light red. The bark is greyish or reddish brown, with white specks. The flowers are small, white, in clusters, appearing in late spring.
In late summer it bears fruit in clusters, that of the coastal form being round, up to 5 cm in diameter, pale-yellow with rose blush or dark-purple in color, while that of the inland form is oval, up to 2.5 cm long, and dark-purple.
The tree is unable to survive a hard frost. However, the coastal form is highly tolerant of salt, so it is often planted to stabilize beach edges and prevent erosion; it is also planted as an ornamental shrub. The fruit is edible and is used for jam.
See Also: Bouquet, Roses, Floral
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