Chrysobalanus icaco 'Red Tip'

Cocoplum, a South Florida native, is an outstanding texture plant with a "beachy" look, producing an edible plum which many critters (including people) enjoy.

cocoplum at the corner of a house

Rounded, shiny green leaves are set off by red-tipped new growth on this most commonly sold variety.

The plant produces small white flowers, followed by fruit that's often made into jelly...or as an attraction in a wildlife garden.

The plum is pink and ripens to purple with a fairly bland flavor, and the almond-flavored seeds can be roasted and eaten or crushed for use in cooking.

Terrific as hedge shrubs or privacy plants, these native Florida plants can grow to about 15 feet if you let them - though most of the time they're kept trimmed to around 4 feet.

This is an easy-care plant that can be kept more manicured for a formal look or left to grow in its naturally pretty rounded shape in a casual landscape style.

There is a "horizontal" cultivar which can be grown as more of a groundcover shrub and is more salt tolerant than "Red Tip" cocoplum.

Plant specs

This shrub is a moderate grower that you can keep trimmed about 3 feet when young, and 4 to 6 feet when the plant is mature.
Moderately salt tolerant, these plants need the warmth of Zone 10 to thrive and are evergreen unless winter is harsh.

A full to part sun location is best, though these shrubs will grow in part shade.

leaf detail

Plant care

Add top soil or organic peat humus to the hole when you plant. You can also mix in composted cow manure to enrich the soil.

Trim as needed, with a hard pruning in spring if you need to control the plant's size. You can shear this shrub with hedge trimmers for a more manicured appearance or branch trim for a natural look.

Water on a regular basis with time to let the plant dry out a bit between waterings.

Once this shrub is well-established, it will tolerate a moderate amount of drought and watering only during dry spells, though it does better with regular irrigation.

Fertilize 3 times a year - in spring, summer, and autumn - with a good granular fertilizer.

Plant spacing

Place these shrubs 3 or 4 feet apart. Come out from the house 3 feet.

For planting along a walk or drive, come in about 4 feet.

This plant will grow in a container but does much better in the ground.

Landscape uses for cocoplum

  • hedge shrub
  • surrounding tall palms
  • lining a walk or drive
  • along patio, pool, porch or deck
  • backdrop for smaller plants
  • camouflage for A/C or pool equipment
  • privacy plant
  • along a blank wall
  • accent in a mixed bed


COMPANION PLANT SUGGESTIONS: Muhly grass, thryallis, croton, sea grape, bush allamanda, plumbago, oleander, snowbush and firebush.

Other plants you might like: Nandina, Simpsons Stopper

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