The Arawak called in Matora, and the Mayan knew it as Niiche. This native tree is dioecious, meaning that only female trees yield fruits. Look for them ripening around October. The jelly from our native Seagrape fruits sure tastes similar to apple jelly. You may consume the fruits raw, including the pulp and skin, but be sure not to crack a tooth on the single, large seed within. The fruits are also made into juice, wine, and vinegar. I even eat them sun-dried right off of the ground beneath, providing that they are clean and devoid of buggies. There are a myriad of uses for this tree... leaves as plates and paper, extracts as dyes, wood for charcoal and firewood, wood to build houses, roots for basketry [as my friend Dick Workman creates], bark and roots as medicine, and more. Bees love to nectar at the flowers and the resulting honey is commercially available, being especially sweet and a slightly spicy. Wild animals, especially squirrels and mockingbirds, relish the fruits, while other animals consume the seed's inner kernels.
CAUTION: Be careful not to chip a tooth on the large single marble-like seed within each fruit. Only eat the pulp and skin - NOT THE INNER SEED. Know that if you plant this beautiful native tree that it will drop many slowly decomposing leaves at its base. They make a lovely mulch if you are a nature-nut like I am.
ANCIENT USE: Pre Columbian coprolites from the Fort Center site near Lake Okeechobee have been shown to contain the pollen of Seagrapes. 
SEMINOLE USE: The Seminole consumed the related Pigeon Plums, but it is not recorded if they ate the Sea Grape fruits.  I would guess that they did.
HISTORIC USE: Jonathan Dickenson was fed these by natives when he was shipwrecked near Jupiter in 1699.  The wood was used in the 1500s to construct houses, make butcher blocks, etc.
EDIBLE FRUITS: The fruits may be eaten raw, the skin and pulp that is. They are sweet to acid, being at times "somewhat musky and insipid."  I consider them to be considerably better tasting than that description described in "The Encyclopedia of Fruits and Nuts." Be extra careful not to chip your tooth on the large, single, marble-like seed within. I love these fruit. I think that they are delicious, like a mild apple flavor with a faint cherry zing. The fruits do not ripen simultaneously in each cluster, so individual fruits should be plucked out or tarps should be placed beneath fruiting trees and the branches gently shaken.
- JELLY: Ripe fruits are commonly made into jelly, especially in the Caribbean. The jelly is delicious.
- JUICE: They can be juiced raw, not through a power juicer, but by being mashed through a sieve.
- ICE CREAM AND SHERBETS: They are "prepared into" ice cream and sherbets. 
- SYRUP: The fruits have been made into syrups. 
- WINE: The fruits are fermented into wine.  The fruits have been "made into potent alcoholic drinks." 
- VINEGAR: "Sea grape wine may also be fermented into sea grape vinegar, which is also useful in cooking." 
FRUITING SEASON: September through October seems to be the high point.
HONEY: "The plant is valued for honey production."  Seagrape honey is commercially available.
MEDICINAL USES: Astringent extracts, known as False Rhatany, were derived from both Seagrape and Pigeon Plum in the early 1800s. 
MEDICINAL JUICE: "The juice is said to be effective against fever." 
MEDICINAL BARK: Used as a febrifuge. 
MEDICINAL BARK RESIN: "The bark resins are used to treat throat ailments." 
MEDICINAL ROOTS: The roots are high in tannins and have been used to treat dysentery. [4, 6]
WILDLIFE: Birds eat the fruits, as do mammal including squirrels, who relish them. Mockingbirds eat the fruits.  Various mammals consume the seed's inner kernels, as evidenced along coastal trails when you see piles of opened seeds beneath trees. Bees [and other pollinating insects, 6] flock to the flowers.
- WOODTURNING: The reddish colored wood is used by woodturners, but is often considered inferior due to warping and cracking properties.
- FURNITURE: "The wood is used for furniture, small ship building." 
- FIREWOOD: Used for firewood. 
- CHARCOAL: The wood is made into charcoal.  "An excellent charcoal." [Geilfus, 1989, via 6]
- CABINETRY: The wood is used to make cabinetry. [3,4]
USEFUL LEAVES: The leaves are used as placemats. I grab some grass stalks and hold three leaves together with the stalk impaling the leaves. They have also been made into hats.  The leaves have been used as paper. 
USEFUL ROOTS: The roots are made into baskets. I have included a photo of my friend Dick Workman, of Florida, holding one of his Seagrape root baskets.
PLANTED IN GARDENS: This tree is often planted in coastal landscapes.
HEDGE: "It can be trained as a rough hedge."  It is planted as a coastal windbreak. 
BEACH STABILIZATION: "It is often planted to stabilize beach edges."  And as a dune stabilizer. 
BONSAI: Seagrape is made into bonsai. 
DYEING AND TANNING: "The sap of the sea grape is used in the West Indies and Jamaica for dyeing and tanning of leather."  The wood "yields a red dye, colored largely by the tannins."  "The bark resins are used for tanning and dyeing." 
NATIVE TO: The Antilles.  "Coastal areas of Central and South Florida." [-]
NATURALIZED: It is now pantropical. 
ETYMOLOGY: From the "Greek kokkos, a berry, lobos, a lobe or pod." 
DESCRIPTION: A dioecious shrub or vase-shaped evergreen tree. It "typically forms a multi-stemmed vase shape if left unpruned." 
- HEIGHT: 25-30'. 
- TRUNK: "The contorted, twisting trunk (which can grow to two feet in diameter) and upright branching habit makes seagrape an interesting, picturesque shade tree or specimen planting." 
- LEAVES: Alternate, orbiculate, shiny, evergreen, large, dark green, rounded, glossy above, noticeable veins which are sometimes red. The "leathery leaves can grow up to eight inches in diameter."  In drier or cooler months the leaves often turn orange and red.
- YOUING LEAVES: "The new young foliage is a beautiful bronze color." 
- FLOWERS: Ivory-white colored, hang in clusters. racemes may grow to one foot long.  Fragrant.  Flowering all year, the high point is January through August. 
- FRUITS: Round, 3/4 inch diameter, hanging in dense long clusters, ripening at various times within the same cluster. Up to 40-50 fruits develop within each cluster.  Only the female trees yield fruits. Ripen in late summer to fall. October is the high point of fruiting here along the west-central Florida coast. Some sources list them as fruiting as early as March , but I have not seen this here in Florida. Some fruits, on some trees, ripen to an off-white skin color. 
- CULTIVARS: "There is a variegated cultivar available." 
- RELATED SPECIES: It is in the same family as our native Pigeon Plum, which also has edible fruits.
- RATE OF GROWTH: Moderate. 
- LIGHT: "Full sun or Partial shade." [1,2]
- WATER: Water well until establishment, then they become drought tolerant. 
- SOIL: Well-drained. 
- COLD HARDINESS: "It is sensitive to frost and freeze."  The University of Florida rates it USDA zones 10A - 11.  Rated at 36F.  Wikipedia rates it down to zone 9B, but I disagree. I place it at zone 10A. Young trees are injured at 32F.  "Mature trees can withstand temperatures as low as -5C [23F] for short periods." 
- DROUGHT TOLERANCE: It "is very drought tolerant once established." 
- SALT TOLERANCE: It "tolerates salt spray and salty soils."  Highly salt tolerant. [3,6]
- WIND TOLERANT: Wind resistant. 
- PRUNING: If you wish to prune it, do this by hand, as the large leaves don't take well to machinery.
- PROPAGATION: By seeds and cuttings. [2,3] Plant immediately, they do not store well. 
- GRAFTING: Hardwood or veneer grafts are taken to propagate chosen trees for superior fruit, and to know the sex of the tree early on. 
- PESTS: "Stems are subject to seagrape borer which can kill branches."  "A nipple gall causes raised, red nipples on the upper leaf surface." 
Rate of GrowthModerate
Ease of growth
When to Harvest
Sources for acquiring
It is commonly available at south Florida area plant nurseries.
 University of Florida - IFAS Extension
 Florida Ethnobotany, by Daniel Austin
 Little and Wadsworth, via 4
 [EFN] The Encyclopedia of Fruits and Nuts, by Janick and Paull