Native Garden


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Coccoloba uvifera L.

  • Common Name: Seagrape
  • Scientific Name: Coccoloba uvifera L.
  • Family Name: Polygonaceae
  • Origin: Florida native - also native to the West Indies, Bahamas, Central and Northern South America.
  • Height: 10’ – 50’
  • Width: 3’ – 35’
  • Growth: fast growing and likes to sprawl out
  • Zone: 9B - 11
  • Light Needs: Full sun to Partial shade
  • Salt Tolerance:  high
  • Soil/PH/Texture: prefers sandy soil, grows better in fertile soils, but is tolerant to most soils as long as they drain well. Using a fertilizer of 6-6-6 or 8-8-8 two to three times a year will help in soils lacking nutrients and in growth.
  • Soil Moisture: medium to dry soil, during their blooming period irrigate more for optimum growth and fruitfulness.
  • Drought Tolerance: high, also humidity and hurricane wind resistant
  • Pests/Diseases: no serious pests or diseases besides occasional fungi from heavy rains but no serious damage.
  • Growing Conditions: easy to grow and low maintenance and if damaged sprouts back quickly. Leaf litter can be an issue and takes a while to decompose. Prune sparingly – only to remove dead wood or weak branches.
  • Characteristics: The deciduous foliage is interesting, rounded, large leathery leaves, slightly rounded, bronze – wine red – green with prominent veins, and can grow up to eight inches in diameter. The flowers are showy, fragrant, white, and appear in late winter – spring and sometimes have a late bloom in the fall. The fruits from the female plant are like the common grape and grown in clusters, green to red in color, and are edible. Most of the time the fruits mature during the summer unless they are late to bloom. Fruits will only appear on female plants and can take 4 – 8 years to produce, and they need a male plant to pollinate them.
  • Propagation: by air layering, rooted cuttings, veneer grafts on seedling rootstocks or by seed (unfortunately there is no control over the sex of the seedling).
  • Wildlife: attracts bees, birds, and butterflies, birds and other wildlife eat its fruit.
  • Facts: resins from the bark can be used in dying and tanning, fruits are sweet-sour, used for jellies, jams and they can be used to make wine.
  • Designer Considerations: use as a specimen plant, shrub, windbreak, hedge, shade tree, and perfect for xeriscaping. It is also a great choice for beachfront homes because of resistance to salty soils, salt spray, drought, and winds.