Fragrant star-shaped flowers with white, pink-tipped, pointed petals about 1 inch (2.54 cm) long are borne in groups on stalks mostly in the spring. The fruit is about 2 inches long. The fruit may hang in the tree for more than a year as it changes from green-to-yellow in about one year and eventually wrinkled black as it ripens. The dark brown pulp inside the black fruit is edible but is filled with many seeds. It both looks and tastes like a prune. This pulp is very appealing to the Mockingbirds, and they hollow out the ripe fruits and leave the empty skins hanging on the plant. The hard fine-textured wood is used for tool handles because of its strength. This plant is susceptible to a fungus which produces lesions on the stem and spots on the leaves and fruit. No one has figured out why this is called a Sevenyear apple.
Information Provided by the Friends of Barefoot Beach Preserve
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