Chrysobalanus icaco

Chrysobalanus icaco L.

Common Names: Coco Plum, Pork-fat Apple

Family: Chrysobalanaceae

Habit: Chrysobalanus icaco grows as a shrub to 1.5 meters in height with brown bark.  The 2-ranked leaves are arranged alternately, to 10 cm long, elliptic to ovate to obovate with an entire leaf margin and obtuse or acute leaf apex.  Young stems and petioles are reddish brown. The leaves are glabrous and the young branches and the inflorescences typically lightly pubescent.

The complete, perfect, actinomorphic flowers are arranged in axillary or terminal cymes with few flowers. The calyx has 5 green, unfused sepals. The corolla has 4 or 5, white, unfused petals. There are 20 tomentose, white stamens that are fused to the middle of the corolla. The ovary is superior, with the style coming off of the ovary at its base, with 1 locule and 1or 2 ovules but only 1 seed develops.  The fruit is a drupe that is either white or purple at maturity depending on the variety.

Habitat: Chrysobalanus icaco grows in Dry Broadleaf Evergreen Formation – Shrublands/Dwarf Shrublands near in coastal areas as well as in Dunes and around Fresh Water and Saline wetlands.

Distribution: Chrysobalanus icaco occurs throughout the Lucayan Archipelago as well as Florida, the entire Caribbean region and Mexico south to northern South America.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Chrysobalanus icaco is not known to be used medicinally in the Lucayan Archipelago.

It is used in horticulture and the fruit is edible.