This native Florida tree is medium sized but can also grown as a sturdy multi-stemmed shrub with low branches (good for privacy hedges). In nurseries the plant can be trained to have a single straight stem (which is our preference). The tree attracts birds on the account of its small pear shaped, dark red/purple fruit (ripening in late fall and early winter); Coccoloba means “lobed berry” in Latin.
The plant is dioecious with flowers varying in gender from one individual to the next. Flowering peaks in spring and summer. An interesting characteristic of the species is its flaky, peeling bark; revealing blotchy shades of color (similar to Gumbo Limbo and Simson Stopper).
We like the tree because it is native, salt and drought tolerant. The leaves are broad full creating dense foliage and good canopy characteristics. When the trees are planted lining a street or edge condition the color variation in the flaking bark creates an interesting textural dimension to the scene.