Coccoloba uvifera

(Click image to Enlarge)

Photographs by: Dr. Maulik Gadani

  • Botanical Name : Coccoloba uvifera (L.) L.
  • Synonyms : Polygonum uvifera L.
  • Common Name : Sea Grape, Bay Grape
  • Plant Family : Polygonaceae
  • Plant Form : Shrub
  • Occurrence (Special Areas) : Indroda Park

About Coccoloba uvifera Plant :

  • Habit : A shrub.
  • Stem :
    • The stem has a smooth, pale gray bark that exfoliates in thin plates.
    • Later it becomes distinctively mottled over time with whitish, gray and brown colors while retaining its smooth texture.
    • Nodes possess a gray or brown membranous sheath called ochreate stipules.
  • Leaves : Large, simple, alternate, almostcircular, broad, leathery, evergreen with distinctive red veins, leaves green but turn red when fall.
  • Inflorescence : Racemes
  • Flowers :
    • White in colour, unisexuals with both male and female flowers on the different plants.
    • Male flowers have 8 white stamens united at the base and a rudimentary whitish pistil.
    • Female flowers possess stamens that are smaller than those of the male flowers but are non functional.
    • The larger pistil has a 1-celled ovary and 3 spreading styles.
    • Fruits : Elliptic or egg-shaped, fleshy, Green when young, gradually ripen to a purplish colour.
  • Flowering and Fruiting Time : May - July
  • Significance :
    • An ornamental shrub.
    • The reddish fruits of the sea grape are very tasty and may be eaten raw, cooked into jellies and jams, or fermented into sea grape wine. 
    • Sea grape wine may also be fermented into sea grape vinegar, which is also useful in cooking.
    • The wood of the sea grape is sometimes used for firewood, making charcoal and even cabinetry.