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CORDIA subcordata

Image of Cordia subcordata

Forest & Kim Starr

Family

Boraginaceae

Botanical Name

CORDIA subcordata

Plant Common Name

Beach Cordia, Island Walnut, Kou, Sea Trumpet

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

A terrific tree for coastal shade across the tropics, sea trumpet has glossy green foliage and small peach-orange flowers in small clusters throughout the year. A broadleaf evergreen, this tender tree is native to the coastal areas of East Africa, tropical southern and southeastern Asia, Australia and into the Pacific Islands. Its smooth grayish bark eventually becomes more brown and furrowed with age.

The large green leaves are glossy above with a matte underside and are shaped like eggs with a blunt tip. In flushes across the year, small clusters of five to seven petaled flowers that are trumpet-shaped appear on branch tips. Although usually seen as light orange in color, there is variability across the vast native range to include flowers that are nearly white and peach-yellow. Pollinated by butterflies and sea breezes, the crepe-like blossoms yield a hard oval fruit that matures to dark brown. These fruits float in water and when cracked open reveal only a few white seeds. Typically the short-lived flowers, developing fruits, and ripe fruits can all be seen on the same tree.

Grow sea trumpet in full sun. Tolerant of many average to well-drained, moist soils, it is best in sandy loams that are not highly acidic. It tolerates typical garden conditions (uniform irrigation) as well as seasonally dry climates. Use it as a pleasant small shade tree for the home yard, as a shade tree or clustered windbreak along the tropical seashore or as a street tree.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 10

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    10 - 15

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2

  • Plant Type

    Tree

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    25'-40' / 7.6m - 12.2m

  • Width

    22'-26' / 6.7m - 7.9m

  • Bloom Time

    Indeterminate

  • Native To

    Eastern Africa, Southern Asia, Southeastern Asia, Melanesia, Micronesia, Polynesia, Australia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought, Salt

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Yellow, Gold, Orange Red

  • Fruit Color

    Light Green, Chocolate

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green

  • Bark Color

    Brown, Sandy Brown

  • 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

    Yes

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Edible, Shade Trees, Street Trees, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Birds, Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes