Chrysobalanus icaco

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Chrysobalanus icaco
Chrysobalanus icaco (inflorescense).jpg
Chrysobalanus icaco leaves and flowers
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Malpighiales
Family: Chrysobalanaceae
Genus: Chrysobalanus
Species: C. icaco
Binomial name
Chrysobalanus icaco
(L.) L.
Chrysobalanus icaco range map 2.png
  • Chrysobalanus atacorensis A.Chev.
  • Chrysobalanus chariensis A.Chev.
  • Maba sudanensis A.Chev.
  • Chrysobalanus purpureus Mill.
  • Chrysobalanus pellocarpus G.Mey.
  • Chrysobalanus ellipticus Sol. ex Sabine
  • Chrysobalanus luteus Sabine
  • Chrysobalanus orbicularis Schumach.
  • Chrysobalanus guianensis Klotzsch
  • Chrysobalanus stuhlmannii Engl.
  • Chrysobalanus savannarum Britton
  • Chrysobalanus interior Small

Chrysobalanus icaco, the cocoplum, Paradise Plum and icaco, is found near sea beaches and inland throughout tropical Africa, tropical Americas and the Caribbean, and in southern Florida and the Bahamas.[1] The inland subspecies is Chrysobalanus icaco pellocarpus.


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 flowers are small, white, in clusters, appearing in late spring. In late summer it bears fruit in clusters, that of the coastal form being round, up to 5 cm in diameter, pale-yellow with 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 coastal form is highly tolerant of salt, so it is often planted to stabilize beach edges and prevent erosion.

Chrysobalanus icaco is also planted as an ornamental shrub. The tree is unable to survive a hard frost. The fruit is edible with a mildly sweet flavor and is sometimes used for jam. The common name for this fruit in Trinidad & Tobago and Guyana is "fat pork". This plant can also be found on Cayo Icacos in Fajardo Puerto Rico. This island can be visited by water taxi.

Fruit of the coastal form
Red leaves on the inland form

See also[edit]


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

External links[edit]