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CORDIA boissieri

Image of Cordia boissieri

James H. Schutte

Family

Boraginaceae

Botanical Name

CORDIA boissieri

Plant Common Name

Anacahuita, Texas Olive

General Description

Texas olive is an attractive small tree with great drought tolerance, rough sandpapery leaves and wonderful ivory-white flowers. Native to Mexico and Texas and New Mexico in the United States, it can have a varied habit. In more desert conditions it tends to be a sprawling shrub, but in a garden setting where there is average and consistent moisture a nice small rounded tree will develop. It will become a deciduous plant in areas with a definite cold or very dry winter.

The outstanding feature of Texas olive is the pretty, funnel-shaped, ivory flowers that have a tan-yellow throat. They are found in clusters at tip branches starting in mid-spring and into summer, and then again in the fall. Any insect or bird that feeds on nectar can be attracted to this plant. The small, sticky fruits that form are why it is called Texas olive, and may be problematic when they drop regarding pedestrians' traction and sidewalk cleanliness and appearance.

Texas olive requires full sun and an average to seasonally dry, well-drained soil. It greatly resents wet soil! Although it has the ability to grow into a handsome small tree, pruning can keep the plant in a shrub form. It can be used in warm seaside locations.

Texas olive is free of problems and pests in the landscape as long as the soil is not too wet and there is ample sunlight. Ensure that ample moisture is supplied in summer and a dry period coincides with winter.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 9

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    8 - 11

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Tree

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    3'-20' / 0.9m - 6.1m

  • Width

    5'-20' / 1.5m - 6.1m

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer, Fall, Late Fall, Early Winter

  • Native To

    Southwestern United States, Texas, Mexico

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought, Salt, Soil Compaction

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Xeric/Desert, Drought Tolerant

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Yellow, Ivory

  • Flower Color Modifier

    Bicolor

  • Fruit Color

    Black

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Gray Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Gray Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Gray Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Olive, Gray Green

  • Bark Color

    Slate Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Feature Plant, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall, Shade Trees, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Birds, Hummingbirds, Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    No