I was initially drawn to the seagrape tree because of its gorgeous leaves but finding out that the fruit is edible is a nice bonus. Even more fascinating is that the seagrape is in the same family, Polygonaceae, as rhubarb! I miss rhubarb and now I know why I love seagrape’s so much. It is uncanny how much their flavor profile resembles each other. While the seagrape, in my opinion, doesn’t make for great snacking, it does make an excellent jelly and refreshing margaritas!
The seagrape tree is native to Florida and can be found along Florida’s coastline. The disk-shaped leaves can grow 8 to 12 inches in diameter and have a cool effect with holes created by the seagrape borer. New growth comes in bronze with a hint of red providing a nice contrast with the vivid green leaves. Living in Florida, sometimes it is hard to notice fall, but this tree is a pretty sign that fall has arrived, with its leaves turning red and falling off.
I am glad I bought two trees, as I had no idea there was a male and female tree, apparently I have one of each. The seagrape tree produces pretty ivory colored flowers that are visited by many native pollinators. The female tree produces the grape-like clusters, which turn from green to a deep pink or purple.
The grapes will be ripening shortly so I can try out some new recipes this year.
Scientific Name: Coccoloba uvifera. Family: Polygonaceae