Sea grape is a native plant found in coastal areas of Central and South Florida. Its bold, evergreen foliage and colorful fruit also make it a fun choice for home gardens. Sea grape gets its common name from the clusters of red, grape-like fruits that the female plants produce. The fruit can be made into jelly, and is a food source for wildlife. Sea grape can grow as a shrub or a vase-shaped tree, depending on where it's planted. It can also be trained as a hedge. The rounded, leathery leaves can grow up to eight inches in diameter. Sea grape grows in full sun or partial shade, and is very drought tolerant once established. It also tolerates salt spray and salty soils, making it a Florida-Friendly choice for beachfront homes. But it is sensitive to frost and freeze, and will benefit from protection.
The unusual texture of sea grape, with its big rounded leaves on upright branches, makes it an interesting and handsome large shrub for a South Florida. The sea grape is an evergreen large shrub or small tree that is common. The leaves are about 8" in diameter with a large, reddish center vein.
The large, almost circular, broad, leathery, evergreen leaves of Seagrape have distinctive red veins. The leaves frequently turn completely red before they fall in winter. The new young foliage is a beautiful bronze color which is set off nicely against the dark green, shiny leaves.
Besides their amazing taste, the Seagrape fruits and leaves have a number of medical uses. They are known to reduce inflammation, cure intestinal issues and even lighten up the skin. A decoction made from the leaves can be used to clean wounds and as a cure for asthma.
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