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Chrysobalanus icaco, Cocoplum

Reaching a height of 15 feet and a spread of 15 feet, salt-tolerant Cocoplum grows in full sun or partial shade on a wide range of soils, needing little irrigation once established. Plant 3 to 4 feet apart to establish a hedge farther apart for a less formal affect in a shrub border. Trees are tolerant of urban conditions and have performed well as street trees.

It should make an effective small tree for urban areas due to its ability to withstand adverse soil types. It should be tried as a street tree for small spaces. The small edible fruit could make a slight mess on walks and patios for a short period. Cocoplum is used most often as a clipped hedge, however it can be pruned into a multi-trunked small tree or specimen shrub. Emerging foliage is an attractive maroon color.

It can be found in the wild as a small, multi-stemmed tree in the Everglades. Occurs from Cape Canaveral to Key West and Sanibel Florida. There is no current national champion Cocoplum.

Healthy plants respond nicely to reduction pruning which keeps plants small. This pruning technique presents a very formal or neat appearance to the surrounding landscape. Many reduction cuts on branches one-half to three-quarters inch diameter are made at the edge of the canopy every other year. Few if any interior branches are removed. Trees grow slightly larger each year but remain much smaller than they would without pruning. Appropriately performed, few people would recognize that the trees were pruned.

Cocoplum Photos


Cocoplum Leaves

Coco Plum buds