Sea Grape
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Sea Grape
ntroduced Photo: Prashant Awale
Common name: Sea Grape
Botanical name: Coccoloba uvifera    Family: Polygonaceae (Knotweed family)

Sea Grape is a sprawling bush or small tree that is found near sea beaches throughout tropical America. It reaches a maximum height of 8 m, but usually just a little more than 2 m tall. It has large, round, leathery leaves, up to 25 cm across, with a red primary vein. The fragrant white flowers are very small and borne on 6-10 in spikes. The bark is smooth and yellowish. In late summer female trees bear purplish fruit, about 2 cm in diameter, in large grape-like clusters. The fruit is fleshy with a hard stone. The fruits are edible raw and are made into "seaside jelly" or wine. In the West Indies, they boil the wood to yield a red dye. Wood from larger trees is prized for cabinet work.

Identification credit: Prashant Awale
Photographed at Sagar Upavan, Mumbai.
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