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.
(Greek, lobed berry, referring to the ends of the pear-shaped fruit). Sometimes spelled Coc-colobis. Including Campderia. Polygonacex. Tropical shrubs, trees or rarely tall woody climbers, grown for their fruits and usually large glossy leathery leaves.
Leaves alternate, always entire: flowers small, in axillary or terminal spike-like racemes, usually some shade of green or yellow-green; sepals 5, herbaceous; petals 0; stamens 8, exceeding the perianth: fruit berry-like, with a small stone, often edible. - About 125 species in the American tropics and reaching to Fla. C. platyclada is now referred to Muehlenbeckia, which see.
Coccoloba uvifera, the sea-grape or shore-grape of the West Indies, bears an edible fruit, and has particularly beautiful foliage. It is the most important of the genus and is offered by dealers in tropical plants. It will not stand the frost and its cultivation out-of-doors is limited to the frostless region of California and Florida. It can be easily grown in any greenhouse North. All species are easily propagated by seeds, which are very plentiful with most of the species. Some species may be increased by cuttings of ripe wood, which root easily in sand under the usual conditions, in a frame or prop-agating-house. Layering may also be employed to increase the stock. The various species grow naturally in both clayey and sandy soils, preferring moist rich earth, and a high temperature. C. uvifera frequents the seashore, and is found growing in sand and broken shells apparently lacking altogether in plant-food. Rich sandy soil of a light character seems to be best for all the species so far known in cultivation.
Plants are readily transplanted from the open ground, but pot-grown plants are to be preferred. (E. N. Reasoner.)
Linn. Sea-Grape. Shore-Grape. Uvadel Mar. Fig. 1009. Tree, reaching 20 ft. or more, with many flexuous branches: leaves large, often 5 in. long by 7 in. wide, broadly heart-shaped, wavy margined, glossy, leathery, glabrous, the midrib red at the base; petioles short, with sheathing stipules at the base: racemes 6 in. long, erect in flower, nodding in fruit; flowers 1 1/2 in. across, white, fragrant; petals 5; stamens 8; styles 3: berries 9 or more in a raceme, small, about 3/4in. long, pear-shaped, reddish purple, dotted green, sweetish acid: nut roundish, with a short, sharp point on top, and vertical wrinkles. Sandy seashores of tropical Amer. especially S. Fla. and W. Indies. B.M. 3130. - The wood is used in cabinet-work, and, when boiled, gives a red color.
Meissn. (C. laurifolia, Jacq.). Pigeon Plum, tree, 25-30 ft.: leaves 1 1/2-3 in. long, 1-2 in. wide, ovate or elliptical, glabrous, narrowed at both ends, obtuse, margin slightly recurved: berries small, 1/3in. long, pear-shaped, edible, but not marketable. S. Fla., the Bahamas, and northern coast of S. Amer.
Fig. 1009. Coccoloba uvifera. (X 1/5)
Linn. (C. grandifolia, Jacq.). A high, sparingly branched tree: leaves cordate-orbicular, 3-6 in. long, rusty-pubescent beneath, chiefly on the prominent veins: flowers racemose: fruit berry-like, about 3/4in. diam. tropical Amer. April. B.M. 3166.
C. caracasina, Meissn., or a closely related species, has recently been introduced to the trade by Franceschi, of Santa Barbara, Calif. It is described as having "larger fruits than other known species, like a good-sized plum." Venezuela. Wllhelm Mlller.