Cordia

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Cordia boissieri in bloom

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Cordia

Category
Kingdom Plantae
Division
Class
Order (unplaced)
Family Boraginaceae
Species in this genus
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Aden Earth Zone

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Cultivation

Characteristics

About

Cordia is a genus of flowering plants in the borage family, Boraginaceae. It contains about 300 species of shrubs and trees, which are found worldwide mostly in warmer regions. Many of the species are commonly called manjack, while bocote may refer to several Central American species in Spanish. The generic name honours German botanist and pharmacist Valerius Cordus (1515-1544).<ref>Quattrocchi, Umberto (2000). CRC World Dictionary of Plant Names: A-C. CRC Press. pp. 612–613. ISBN 9780849326752. http://books.google.com/books?id=esMPU5DHEGgC&. </ref> Like most other Boraginaceae, a majority have trichomes (hairs) on the leaves.

Uses

Ornamental

Many Cordias have fragrant, showy flowers and are popular in gardens, although they are not especially hardy.<ref name="Bennett">Bennett, Masha (2003). Pulmonarias and the Borage Family. Timber Press. pp. 196–198. ISBN 9780881925890. http://books.google.com/books?id=bMUABcfWFNgC&. </ref>

As food

A number of the tropical species have edible fruits, known by a wide variety of names including clammy cherries, glue berries, sebesten, or snotty gobbles. In India, the fruits of local species are used as a vegetable, raw, cooked, or pickled, and are known by many names, including lasora in Hindi. One such species is Fragrant Manjack (C. dichotoma), which is called gunda or tenti dela in Hindi and lasura in Nepali. The fruit of the Fragrant Manjack is called phoà-pò·-chí (破布子), 樹子仔, or 樹子(POJ: chhiū-chí) in Taiwan where they are eaten pickled.

Wood

The wood of several Cordia species is commercially harvested. Ecuador Laurel (C. alliodora), Ziricote (C. dodecandra), Spanish Elm (C. gerascanthus), and C. goeldiana are used to make furniture and doors in Central and South America.<ref name="Bennett"/>

Ziricote<ref>http://www.lmii.com/CartTwo/thirdproducts.asp?CategoryName=+Backs+and+Sides&NameProdHeader=Ziricote Luthiers Mercantile page about Ziricote</ref> and Bocote<ref>http://www.lmii.com/CartTwo/thirdproducts.asp?CategoryName=+Backs+and+Sides&NameProdHeader=Bocote Luthiers Mercantile page about Ziricote</ref> are sometimes used as a wood for making acoustic guitar backs and sides. Well-known guitarist Richard Thompson currently plays a Lowden F-35C RT Richard Thompson Signature Model with Ziricote back and sides.<ref>Presad, Anil (October 2009). "Richard Thompson" (PDF). Guitar Player: 50. http://www.richardthompson-music.com/docs/Guitar%20Player.pdf. </ref> Similarly, drums are made from C. abyssinica, C. millenii, and C. platythrysa due to the resonance of the wood.<ref>Tudge, Colin (2007). The Tree. Random House. p. 237. ISBN 9780307395399. http://books.google.com/books?id=lUvmxt3_OGgC&. </ref>

Ecology

Cordia species are used as food plants by the caterpillars of some Lepidoptera species, such as Endoclita malabaricus, Bucculatrix caribbea, and Bucculatrix cordiaella.<ref>Davis, Donald R.; Bernard Landry; Lazaro Roque-albelo (2002). "Two new Neotropical species of Bucculatrix leaf miners (Lepidoptera: Bucculatricidae) reared from Cordia (Boraginaceae)". Revue Suisse de Zoologie 109 (2): 277–294. http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=13796205. </ref> The Wild Olive Tortoise Beetle (Physonota alutacea) feeds on C. boissieri, C. dentata, C. inermis, and C. macrostachya.<ref>Quinn, Mike. "Wild Olive Tortoise Beetle Physonota alutacea Boheman, 1854". Texas Beetle Information. Texas Entomology. http://www.texasento.net/Physonota.htm. Retrieved 2010-04-05. </ref>

Selected species

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References

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