30 December 2017

Sculptural beauty of the coccoloba uvifera

     Hardy, salt spray resistant, and a hell of a conservation plant, the sea grape has the truly unlovely botanical name of coccoloba uvifera.
     The plant can grow close to or at the very edge of the beach; and it's prone to wander from its original site, forming what appears to be a colony but is usually just one plant.  It does this by layering whenever one of its branches touches ground for any length of time thus forming the sculpture that each plant becomes.
     The sea grape is one of the plants we don't remove at False Bluff, regardless of its size; and there are some really large clumps throughout the landscape.  

     Here's a fairly young plant showing the tendency for droopy branches, many of which will root because of their contact with the ground...some of the rooted branches will head south or north east or any other direction.  But all will be part of the parent plant...kind of like millennials who can't leave home.

     The Caribbean as seen through another young clump.

     This is a much older and established plant, capable of holding a swing or a hammock.  Several patches of our favorite zoysia grass have been planted under the clump and in a fairly short time the ground will be covered with a cushioned mat of emerald green.

     Another mature sea grape plant (partially visible just behind a young coconut palm) is close to one of our buildings.  This clump is host to a swing and for years has held a hammock or two as well.