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Coccoloba uvifera (Seagrape) bush
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Polygonaceae
Subfamily: Eriogonoideae
Genus: Coccoloba

See text

Coccoloba is a genus of about 120–150 species of flowering plants in the family Polygonaceae,[1] which is native to the Neotropics. There is no overall English name for the genus, although many of the individual species have widely used common names.


The genus is native to tropical and subtropical regions of the Americas, in South America, the Caribbean and Central America, with two species extending into Florida.[2][3]


The species are shrubs and trees, and lianas, mostly evergreen. The leaves are alternate, often large (to very large in some species; up to 36 in (90 cm) wide in C. pubescens),[4] with the leaves on juvenile plants often larger and of different shape to those of mature plants. The flowers are produced in spikes. The fruit is a three-angled achene, surrounded by an often brightly coloured fleshy perianth, edible in some species, though often astringent.[2][3] Species in the genus have been characterized as dioecious,[5] but this is unclear.[6] Trioecy has been documented in at least one case.[7]

Selected species[edit]



The genus includes several ectomycorrhizal species; for example, C. uvifera is apparently associated with at least the following macrofungal families Amanitaceae, Russulaceae, and Boletaceae. The species Coccoloba cereifera is notable for being restricted to an area of only some 26 square km on a single low peak near Serra do Cipó National Park, in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais.[13]

Cultivation and uses[edit]

One species, Coccoloba uvifera (Seagrape) is commonly cultivated for its edible fruit, and the genus name is sometimes used to denote this species.


  1. ^ Acevedo-Rodriguez, Pedro; Strong, Mark (2012). "Catalog of Seed Plants of the West Indies" (PDF). Smithsonian Contributions to Botany. 98: 1–1221. doi:10.5479/si.0081024X.98.1.
  2. ^ a b Flora of North America: Coccoloba
  3. ^ a b Huxley, A., ed. (1992). New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. Macmillan ISBN 0-333-47494-5.
  4. ^ J.G. Rohwer, Tropical Plants of the World (New York: Sterling, 2002)
  5. ^ Howard, Richard A. (1949). "The Genus Coccoloba in Cuba". Journal of the Arnold Arboretum. 30 (4): 388–424. doi:10.5962/bhl.part.18052. JSTOR 43782355.
  6. ^ Madriz, Rosario; Ramirez, Nelson (1996–1997). "Biologia reproductiva de Coccoloba uvifera (Polygonaceae) una especie poligamo-dioica". Revista de Biologia Tropical. 44(3)/45(1): 105–115.CS1 maint: date format (link)
  7. ^ Silva, Clice Alexandre; Oliva, Marco Antonio; Vieria, Milene Faria; Fernandes, Geraldo Wison (2008). "Trioecy in Coccoloba cereifera Schwacke (Polygonaceae), a Narrow Endemic and Threatened Tropical Species". Brazilian Archives of Biology and Technology. 51 (5): 1003–1010. doi:10.1590/S1516-89132008000500017.
  8. ^ "Amazonian Tree With Human-Sized Leaves Finally Gets New Species Recognition". EcoWatch. 2019-11-28. Retrieved 2019-12-11.
  9. ^ USDA Plants Profile: Coccoloba
  10. ^ Global Compendium of Weeds: Coccoloba acuminata
  11. ^ Plants of Hawaii: Polygonaceae Archived 2008-05-04 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ Melo, E.; Cid Ferreira, C.A.; Gribel, R. (11 November 2019). "[Botany • 2019] Coccoloba gigantifolia (Polygonaceae) • A New Species of Coccoloba P. Browne from the Brazilian Amazon with Exceptionally Large Leaves". Species New to Science. Retrieved 24 November 2019.
  13. ^ Katia Torres Ribeiro; G. Wilson Fernandes (1999). "Geographic distribution of Coccoloba cereifera Schw. (Polygonaceae), a narrow endemic plant from Serra do Cipó, Brazil" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-06. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)

External links[edit]