Botanical Name: Coccoloba diversifolia
Species: C. diversifolia
Common Names: Pigeon plum and Tietongue
Habitat: Pigeon plum is native to coastal areas of the Caribbean, Central America (Belize, Guatemala), southern Mexico, southern Florida (coastal regions from Cape Canaveral to the Florida Keys) and The Bahamas.
Pigeon plum is a small to medium-sized tree growing upright, densely-foliated, rounded evergreen tree is usually seen at 15 to 25 feet and a spread of 20 to 35 feet, though it can grow larger. Young trees appear pyramidal until the multiple trunks begin spreading.
The bark is light gray, smooth, and thin but may become scaly on the largest trees.This can form a rounded vase on older specimens. It is a wonderful small to medium-sized tree for subtropical landscapes, typically sporting a multiple trunk. Trunks often grow almost parallel to each other, and embedded or included bark forms regularly, but this does not appear to compromise the wood strength of Pigeon-Plum. The four-inch-long, shiny, dark green, leathery leaves drop uniformly in March but quickly emerge as bright red new growth…....CLICK & SEE
The numerous, inconspicuous flowers appear on spikes 1.5–18 cm long in the spring. The fruit is an achene 6–10 mm long surrounded by a dark purple edible fleshy perianth, ripen in late fall and winter and are very attractive to birds.
The tree is unable to survive hard frost. It is resistant to high winds, salt and drought.
The pigeon plum grows best in moist, well-drained soil in areas that receive full sun or partial shade. The tree makes a good shade tree, with its dense branches and is often used in landscaping, or as planted in median strips along highways. Pigeon plums usually contain multiple trunks that grow parallel to one another. The trees are unaffected by high winds, droughts, and salty conditions, so they can grow in sandy, rocky areas along tidewater areas. The species is often used as a hurricane barrier in coastal areas.
Edible Uses: Fruits are edible. The fruit comes under the dry fruit classification known as achene which is 6-10 mm in length enclosed by a dark edible fleshy perianth ripening takes place in the fall, the flowers on the female trees are followed by the fruit appearing smaller in size , oval to round, with a diameter of ½ inch , The ripening takes place during autumn and winter, they turn out to be dark red or purplish. The fruit resembles an achene and grown as groups only. The thin pulpy coat is covered by a single layered large hard ‘stone’. The fruits are eaten by birds and animals and dispersed making it very sour and astringent for human taste so they are stored for few days and then consumed. The fruit’s juice is used in preparing jelly and a perfect wine too. The fruits are not consumed and sold in the local markets which happened only in the past.
The fruits are utilized in Bahamas to treat gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea also a soothing material and also in aphrodisiac teas. Their fruits are consumable either raw state or even used in preparation of jellies and wine too.
Other Uses:Pegion plum is an ornalmental tree, usually planted in median strips along highways. The wooden part is useful in carving. The fruits help in feeding various birds and also iguanas where they evolve.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.