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Cordia

Boraginaceae
Evergreen, Shrubs, Trees

These members of the forget-me-not family are grown for their showy flowers. Some species are at home in the desert Southwest, others in more tropical climates.

Cordia boissieri
Cordia boissieri

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Cordia boissieri

Native to New Mexico, Texas, Mexico; adapted to low and intermediate deserts. Grows 12 ft. tall, 8–10 ft. wide. Oval, rough-surfaced, grayish green leaves to 5 in. long. Clustered, 2 1/2-in. white flowers with yellow throats begin bloom in midspring and continue over a long season; repeat bloom is possible in autumn. Can be kept pruned as a 3–5-ft. shrub or trained into a small tree.

Cordia sebestena

Native to the Caribbean Islands and tropical America. A popular street tree in Hawaii’s dry lowlands. Grows to 10–25 ft. high and 15 ft. wide, with a dense, round head. Dark green leaves are 9–12 in. long and half as wide, and so rough surfaced they are almost sandpapery. Clusters of brilliant orange-red flowers are produced much of the year at branch tips. Good wind and salt tolerance; takes drought but does best with regular water.

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