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Chrysobalanus
Chrysobalanus
icaco, the cocoplum, paradise plum, abajeru or icaco, is found near sea beaches and inland throughout tropical Africa, tropical Americas and the Caribbean, and in southern Florida
Florida
and the Bahamas.[1] It is also found as an exotic species on other tropical islands, where it has become a problematic invasive.[2] Although taxonomists disagree on whether Chrysobalanus
Chrysobalanus
icaco has multiple subspecies or varieties, it is recognized as having two ecotypes, described as an inland, much less salt-tolerant, and more upright C. icaco var. pellocarpus and a coastal C. icaco var. icaco.[3][4] Both the ripe fruit of C. icaco, and the seed inside the ridged shell it contains, are considered edible.[4]

Contents

1 Description 2 Gallery 3 References 4 External links

Description[edit] Chrysobalanus
Chrysobalanus
icaco is a shrub 1–3 metres (3.3–9.8 ft), or bushy tree 2–6 metres (6.6–19.7 ft), rarely to 10 metres (33 ft). It has evergreen broad-oval to nearly round somewhat leathery leaves (3 to 10 cm long and 2.5 to 7 cm wide). Leaf colors range from green to light red. The bark is greyish or reddish brown, with white specks. The clustered flowers are small, greenish-white, and appear intermittently throughout the year but more abundantly in late spring. The fruit that follows (a drupe) is variable, with that of the coastal form being round, up to 5 cm in diameter, white, pale-yellow with a rose blush or dark-purple in color, while that of the inland form is oval, up to 2.5 cm long, and dark-purple. The fruit is edible, with an almost tasteless to mildly sweet flavor, and is sometimes used for jam. It contains a five- or six-ridged brown stone with an edible white seed. The common name for this fruit in Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago and Guyana
Guyana
is "fat pork". Chrysobalanus
Chrysobalanus
icaco is unable to survive a hard frost, but is planted as an ornamental shrub in subtropical regions due to its appearance, easily manageable size, and tolerance of shallow and variable soils (for example, as alkaline as pH 8.4[4]) and partial shade.[5][3] Several cultivars are available:

'Red Tip' is of the inland ecotype, and is the most commonly planted in Florida, often as a hedge. It is a chance occurrence that has pink new growth. 'Green Tip' is another example of the inland type that has green new growth. 'Horizontal' is of the coastal type, and tends to root wherever its creeping branches touch the ground, creating clumps over time that can help stabilize the soil. Combined with the high salt tolerance of the coastal ecotype, this characteric means it can be planted to stabilize beach edges and prevent erosion.[4]

Chrysobalanus
Chrysobalanus
icaco plays a role in traditional medicine in some parts of its native range, and has been the subject of scientific investigations that have provided evidence of hypoglycemic, antioxidant, antifungal and other pharmacological properties of the leaf extract.[3][6][7] Gallery[edit]

Fruit
Fruit
of the coastal form

Red leaves on the inland form

Cocoplum growing in Oleta River State Park
Oleta River State Park
- Fruit
Fruit
and branches

Detail of branches

Mature and immature fruits

References[edit]

^ a b Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant
Plant
Families ^ [1] Chrysobalanus
Chrysobalanus
icaco at Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER) ^ a b c [2] " Chrysobalanus
Chrysobalanus
icaco—Coco-plum", Francis, John K., U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, International Institute of Tropical Forestry, San Juan PR ^ a b c d [3] Brown et al, Lee County Extension, Institute of Food and Agricultural Services extension, University of Florida ^ [4] Chrysobalanus
Chrysobalanus
icaco—Cocoplum, Institute of Food and Agricultural Services, University of Florida ^ Presta, Giuseppe Antonio et al. (2007). Effects of Chrysobalanus icaco on the labeling of blood constituents with technetium-99m and on the shape of the red blood cells. Brazilian Archives of Biology and Technology, 50(spe), 145-152. [5] ^ Bastos Silva, João Paulo et al. (2017). Antifungal activity of hydroalcoholic extract of Chrysobalanus
Chrysobalanus
icaco against oral clinical isolates of Candida Species. Pharmacognosy Research, 9, 96-100. [6]

Bush, Charles S. and Morton, Julia F. (1969) Native Trees and Plants for Florida
Florida
Landscaping (pp. 64–65). Bulletin No. 193. Department of Agriculture - State of Florida. External links[edit]

Cocoplum at Virginia Tech Dendrology

Dressler, S.; Schmidt, M. & Zizka, G. (2014). "Chrysobalanus icaco". African plants – a Photo Guide. Frankfurt/Main: Forschungsinstitut Senckenberg. 

Taxon identifiers

Wd: Q577669 APDB: 174322 EoL: 629655 EPPO: CBLIC FNA: 220002866 GBIF: 2985082 GRIN: 10397 iNaturalist: 160544 IPNI: 722181-1 ITIS: 25148 NCBI: 22978 Plant
Plant
List: kew-367588 PLANTS: CHIC Tropicos: 7400184 WCSP: 36

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