Photographed by Bette Jackson
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Hi, I'm Dr. Jerry Jackson, out with the wild things. The seagrape tree is known for its landscape values including use as a hedge in coastal environments. But it's also known for the fine jellies and unique wine that can be made from its fruit. Seagrape also has many other values. Throughout its range, the wood of seagrape has been used for firewood and for producing charcoal -- practices that continue today in the West Indies. While not a tree known for producing straight 2 by 4s, the reddish to dark-brown hard wood of large seagrape is hard and fine grained and has been used in making decorative furniture and cabinets. Flowers of seagrape are attractive to honeybees and the honey produced from seagrape nectar is light in color, has a unique spicy flavor, and is considered exceptional. Cut into the bark of a seagrape and it exudes a red sap that has been used for tanning leather and as a natural dye. The dye is usually produced by boiling bits of the wood. The roots and bark of seagrape have some astringent properties, and concoctions made from them have been used in the Caribbean to treat sore throat and dysentery.
'With the Wild Things' is produced at the Whitaker Center in the College of Arts and Sciences at Florida Gulf Coast University. For the wild things, I'm Dr. Jerry Jackson.