Chrysobalanus icaco, the cocoplum and icaco , is found near sea
beaches and inland throughout the tropical Americas and the
Caribbean, including Cuba, southern Florida, and the Bahamas. 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 (6.6–20 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 and is
used for jam.