Chicory-grape

 
 

Chicory-grape, or false chiggergrape, is native to dry coastal areas of Hispaniola, Puerto Rico and the Lesser Antilles. It  reaches a height of 30 feet, with a trunk 8 or more inches in diameter, although it may also grow as a shrub. The leaves are up to 8 inches long, are grouped in two rows along the branches, and have sunken lateral veins. Flowers are minute and appear in spikes up to 7 inches long that appear at the leaf bases; they open from the base of the spike toward the apeax and are male or female on separate trees. Fruits are edible, about a quarter of an inch long, egg-shaped, and white or pinkish. It flowers during spring and summer, fruits ripen during summer and fall. The generic name derives from an old Greek name for the grape vine. The species name refers to the leaf veins.


The photographed tree is in the grove between the Student Union and the Dispensary. There is a larger specimen higher up near the road.  Both trees were planted by Severo Vélez, probably during the 1940s.

Coccoloba venosa (Polygonaceae)