Chrysobalanus icaco, the cocoplum, paradise plum, abajeru or icaco, is found near sea beaches and inland throughout tropical Africa, tropical Americas and the Caribbean, and in southern Florida and the Bahamas. It is also found as an exotic species on other tropical islands, where it has become a problematic invasive. Although taxonomists disagree on whether Chrysobalanus icaco has multiple subspecies or varieties, it is recognized as having two ecotypes, described as an inland, much less salt-tolerant, and more upright C. icaco var. pellocarpus and a coastal C. icaco var. icaco. Both the ripe fruit of C. icaco, and the seed inside the ridged shell it contains, are considered edible.
Chrysobalanus icaco is a shrub 1–3 metres (3.3–9.8 ft), or bushy tree 2–6 metres (6.6–19.7 ft), rarely to 10 metres (33 ft). It has evergreen broad-oval to nearly round somewhat leathery leaves (3 to 10 cm long and 2.5 to 7 cm wide). Leaf colors range from green to light red. The bark is greyish or reddish brown, with white specks.
The clustered flowers are small, greenish-white, and appear intermittently throughout the year but more abundantly in late spring. The fruit that follows (a drupe) is variable, with that of the coastal form being round, up to 5 cm in diameter, white, pale-yellow with a rose blush or dark-purple in color, while that of the inland form is oval, up to 2.5 cm long, and dark-purple. The fruit is edible, with an almost tasteless to mildly sweet flavor, and is sometimes used for jam.
Chrysobalanus icaco is unable to survive a hard frost, but is planted as an ornamental shrub in subtropical regions due to its appearance, easily manageable size, and tolerance of shallow and variable soils and partial shade.
Chrysobalanus icaco plays a role in traditional medicine in some parts of its native range, and has been the subject of scientific investigations that have provided evidence of hypoglycemic, antioxidant, antifungal and other pharmacological properties of the leaf extract.