Funky Florida Flora – Sea Grapes

IMG_20190619_090654Sea Grapes seemingly grow everywhere in South Florida. Native to South Florida and the Caribbean, this tree will grow in sun to semi-shade, is very drought once established, grows on the Oceanfront, shrugging off salty winds and hurricane,  and provides food for wildlife. They can be pruned into privacy screens or trained into multi-stem trees. The maintenance is a Sisyphean task if you dream of a rectangular privacy screen. Sea Grape is evergreen and it’s big, shiny green leaves with pinky red veins provide year-round tropical ambiance.

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Sea Grape’s botanical name is Coccoloba uvifera. The fruit, borne like grapes will eventually turn brown and drop to the ground. Grateful creatures devour the fruit, including my greyhounds – just one of the greyhounds, it took me a long time to figure out what he was crunching on while rooting around in the grass. A true Floridian hound, I suppose.

Florida natives (the human kind) eat the grapes when ripe, and make jelly and wine from them. My opinion, like many things, you have to grow up eating them to enjoy them. Kind of like being a Southerner and eating grits. They taste a bit like a fig, with a huge pit and are too labor intensive to make me want to eat them – and the birds usually beat me to them anyway.

 

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13 comments on “Funky Florida Flora – Sea Grapes

  1. I saved some sea grape leaves decades ago. Still have them.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That is a really interesting plant.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve never seen this before, love the leaves!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Eliza Waters says:

    This to me is the quintessential Florida plant. Beaches and sea grapes!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. tonytomeo says:

    The Flying Nun made wine with them, and tried to sell it for a fundraiser. I sort of wondered what they were, and had never seen one.

    Liked by 1 person

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