Grapes - Cocciluba uvifera - Tídibu beibei
and August are the months for sea grape! This shrub or
tree is native to the West Indies and can grow up to 50
feet tall. It is common on the beaches and cayes. The
leaves can reach eight inches across and can be used as
a hat for shade. The shrub itself stabilizes the beach
and helps prevent erosion. It is said you can boil the
bark for a solution to treat gum
The fruits are dark purple when they are ripe. They hang
in clusters and are similar to table grapes in the US except
the seed is much larger and the fruit is slightly tart.
You can eat them right off the tree but I like to chill
them first. Yes, you can make wine from sea grapes and sometimes
Many children roam the beaches gathering sea grapes to sell
by the bucket full. Almost every born Belizean has fond
memories of picking sea grapes and the relationships formed
in those carefree, idyll hours.
you would like more information on the plants in Belize,
look for Mangoes and More, a
rough guide to Belize's fruits and flowers, a plant
ID book full of color pictures taken in Placencia, on sale
in most gift shops.