Plantana’s Iconic Sea Grape Tree

Plantana Condos is home to an iconic Sea Grape tree that, if you listen closely, will share decades of stories from the wonderful guests that have enjoyed the cool air beneath its canopy, its natural beauty and of course, the fresh fruit it bears in the Spring. 

The single Sea Grape (Coccoloba uvifera), on Plantana’s stretch of Seven Mile Beach has been featured in a myriad of amateur and professional images, and while we don’t encourage climbing of this mature tree (it could be upwards of 100 years old so we must protect it!), we know it has been the set for family photos, and has played host to many little feet who find its curved shape inviting.   

Native to the Caribbean and the Eastern and Northeastern coasts of Central and South America respectively, this robust, shapely tree is not just for shade.  Feeling the heat?  Use a large green or orangey-red leaf as a natural fan.  Need a sweet snack?  Pick handful of juicy purple grapes and enjoy the flesh (but spit out the seed)!  When collecting lots of the yummy fruit, select a large green leaf and roll into a conical shape for an eco-friendly holder.  And speaking of being eco-conscious, there is no better biodegradable plate than the Sea Grape leaf.  Caymanians have long made good use of the leaves by choosing the nicest, largest ones, cleaning them and then serving fried fish, fritters and other local delicacies! Let’s not forget Sea Grape wine and jelly made with the fruit – sooo tasty!

The wood of this tree has been used as firewood because less smoke is given off when burnt, and it also makes for lovely carvings.  Feeling creative? Pick leaves and spray paint to make a seasonal wreath! 

And of course, we’re not the only ones who love the Sea Grape tree; iguanas, Bald Pates, Ching Chings and Parrots all have a field day when the fruit ripens. The Sea Grape tree has also been the center of folklore as it is believed by some in the region that ghosts aka ‘duppies’ reside in them – not a bad choice of dwelling! 

We’re just happy to have our very own Sea Grape at Plantana for you to enjoy year round while creating memories of Grand Cayman.