Florida Coastal Icon – Coccoloba Uvifera

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The iconic sea grape (Coccoloba uvifera) flanks a tidal creek in Florida’s Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park.

Many tourists probably think that coconut palm trees are the iconic plant of South Florida’s beaches. And indeed, that’s a natural conclusion if you stick to the popular manicured beaches. But in the mind of most locals, the sea grape (Coccoloba uvifera) is the true iconic plant of South Florida’s beaches and dunes. They are everywhere… and they should be! They are native, beautiful, and valuable as a dune stabilizer and wind break. They’re edible, too! Some people enjoy turning the grapes into a jam, but there is a very large pit inside the fruit, so the task is cumbersome.

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