This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(golden acorn, from the Greek, referring to the fruit). Rosacea. Bushes or trees, planted far south for ornament; fruit often edible.
Leaves thick and coriaceous, entire, glabrous: flowers white, rather small, in axillary or terminal short cymes; calyx 5-parted; petals 5, clawed; stamens 15 to many, some of them perhaps sterile: fruit a dryish-pulpy drupe, with stone pointed at base and ridged. - Two species in tropics of Amer. and Africa, reaching Fla., and another one in S. U. S.
On coasts and along streams in S. Fla., to S. Amer., and also in Africa, and is sometimes planted in the extreme S. (and in the tropics) as an ornamental shrub and for its sweetish but insipid and dry plum-shaped fruits which are sometimes used for preserves. It is a mere bush on the northern limits of its distribution, and on elevations, but in extreme S. Fla. it reaches a height of 25-30 ft. Leaves glossy, thick, obovate (sometimes obcor-date): flowers small and white, in axillary erect racemes or cymes; calyx 5-cleft, pubescent; petals 5; stamens about 20: fruit 1-seeded, 1-1 5/8 in. long, varying from nearly white to almost black, globular or nearly so. Wood close-grained and heavy, hard, brown or reddish. It is best prop, by seeds, but may also be had from cuttings of half-ripened wood. C. pellocarpus, Meyer, the small-fruited cocoa-plum, is a smaller plant, with smaller leaves, petals spatulate, drupe obovoid or oblong, about half the size of .that of C. Icaco; it grows in extreme S. Fla. and farther south; probably not planted.
C. oblongifolius, Michx., occurs from Ga. to Fla. and Miss. It is a low shrub, spreading widely by means of underground stems: If blades longer than broad, sharp-tipped: fruit ovoid or obovoid, about 1-1 1/3 in. long: not in cultivation l H. B.