The fruit is edible for both wildlife and people; it's slightly sweet with a hard shell surrounding the nut. This feature actually qualifies it as a 'drupe.'
You can make jelly from the drupes using any standard recipe from your good old standard cookbook. However, I must say, I think if you are going to the bother of it, you would get more flavor and nutritional benefit from blueberries. However, you can do it.
The little flowers are delicate and give off a delicate fragrance as well. Here are some tightly closed buds and a few opened flowers. They smell great!! No icon for that, darn.
In the next two frames, you see the progression: buds, flowers and the newly formed fruit, first green, then red.
The fully formed drupes can come in peachy colors, but mine are all this dark purple. Insides are white, though, like a coconut! Is that where it got its name I wonder?
Cocoplums come in at least three cultivars, an all-green, a red-tipped, and a horizontal form. They occur naturally in Zones 9 - 11, although near the coast I have seen them a bit further northward. They are often associated with various wetland systems, but are one of those plants that can withstand drought with ease.
They are useful in many capacities in the home landscape because they are so dense right down to ground level. This makes them good for screening unwanted views. They can also stand alone as specimens, and are adaptable to pruning as well. If left alone, they can go 15 feet or higher, or, you can shear them off and make a lower hedge if you wish. You see them frequently in commercial settings all squared off up against buildings. Ugh.
These cocoplums were among the first things I planted when I moved in here. What you don't see is that they are completely hiding the neighbor's huge metal shed.
Shiny, happy, red-tipped cocoplums up close.