Common Names: Pigeon Plum, Plum
Bush, Dove Plum, Tie Tongue
Habit: Coccoloba diversifolia
grows as a medium shrub to large tree up to 10 m in height and 60 cm
in diameter. The trunk is grey and brown (sometimes slight orange)
with pieces of bark flaking off in jigsaw puzzle like pieces. The
leaves are arranged alternately, to 25 cm. the leaf shape is highly
variable with shade and adventitious shoot leaves large, elongate to
lanceolate and sun leaves small and elliptical. The petiole base
wraps around the stem at the leaf axil forming an ochrea.
Coccoloba diversifolia is
dioecious with the flowers arranged in racemes. The perianth contains
only the calyx which has 5 whitish green sepals fused at their base
forming a shallow cup. Staminate flowers have 8 fertile stamens
fused to the rim of the calyx cup. Carpellate flowers have a
superior ovary with a single locule and ovule. Around the base of the
ovary is a nectary. Staminate flowers can be distinguished from
carpellate flowers by the size of the stamens. In staminate flowers
the stamens are fully exerted and 2-3 times the length of the entire
flower. Additionally on the staminate inflorescences there are
numerous flowers at each node.
The fruit is a drupe turning dark red
to purple at maturity.
diversifolia grows in a variety of habitats including Dry
Broadleaf Evergreen Formations –Forests/Woodlands/Shrublands/Dwarf
Shrublands on both limestone and sand substrates. It also occurs in
Distribution in Bahamas/Globally:
Coccoloba diversifolia occurs on all island groups within the
Bahamian Archipelago, southern Florida, the entire Caribbean region
and Central and South America.
Coccoloba diversifolia is used in the Bahamas to treat
gastrointestinal problems (diarrhea) and as a component of the
soothing and aphrodisiac teas. The fruits are edible (raw, as a
jelly or used to make wine) and the wood has been used for carving.
The fruits support a diverse avian population as well as iguanas
(where they occur).
Coccoloba diversifolia is used
extensively in the horticultural industry of southern Florida.
It is closely related to the C.
uvifera (Sea Grape).