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  • Writer's pictureWendy De la Garza

Seagrapes: 5 Senses

Updated: Dec 7, 2022

Seagrape (Coccoloba uvifera) are Florida native plants. They are protected on all sand dune communities because they help prevent erosion on coastlines. They can handle the salt at the beach and are also drought tolerant. Seagrape trees provide habitat for beach creatures, provide fruit for birds, and help to block artificial light from the city that could affect sea turtle nesting.

This Seagrape leaf is as big as my daughter’s head! They can be between 8-12 inches wide.

The best way to learn about and appreciate plants is by using our 5 senses. What do you see, hear, smell, taste, or feel? Plants don‘t move around or interact with us, but they are usually beautiful in some way and sometimes they are sold at the grocery store as food!

This Observation sheet leaves out taste. Generally, you would not encourage eating the plants you find. Definitely, don’t eat plants in a protected area. Sometimes, a plant has thorns or is poisonous so make sure touching it is ok too! If you picked herbs or lettuces as your plant, you could include it! The Seagrapes have fruit that is edible. Right now, our Seagrape tree in the backyard has only green fruit, so we won’t be tasting! The fruit is found only on the female Seagrape plants. When the fruit turns purple, we can eat them, or make them into jelly.

What do you feel? The leaves are rounded with no pointy edges. There are no fuzzy parts.

Flip the leaf and feel the veins!

Notice the veins are distinctively red. You can practice counting the veins, or compare them to other leaves you find. We also gathered some leaves that had already fallen to the ground.

For an Art project, grab a peeled crayon and a sheet of white paper. Lay the leaf down on the table with the raised veins side up. With the crayon laying flat, gently rub over the paper where the leaf is underneath.

After realizing the Seagrape leaves didn’t smell very unusual we gathered some dried leaves and compared how they sounded compared to the ones we had just picked.

Next time you see a Seagrape tree at the beach you will remember more about them. Using your 5 senses makes things interesting and helps you to make personal connections!

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