This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(an early German botanist, Valerius Cor-dus, born 1515). Boraginaceae. Warm-climate trees, shrubs or almost herbaceous, sometimes planted.
Leaves mostly alternate, petioled, entire or dentate: flowers in dense heads or clusters or scirpioid cymes, perfect or polygamous, the corolla usually white or orange; calyx tubular or campanulate, toothed or lobed; corolla tubular, funnelform or salverform, lobed, the parts and the stamens 4 or more; style 4-lobed: fruit a drupe which is 4-loculed and usually 4-seeded. - Species about 230 in tropical and subtropical regions, mostly in the western hemisphere. Some of them are vines; some are herbaceous above the base. Species confused. The cordias are greenhouse plants with showy flowers of easy culture. Grown in the open in the extreme South. Propagated by cuttings of firm wood and by seeds.
Fig. 1051. Cordia Greggii variety Palmeri. (X 3/5)
Sebestena, Linn. (C. speciosa, Willd.). Geiger Tree. Tall evergreen shrub or small tree, hairy, with rough, ovate, entire or undulate stalked leaves: flowers 1-2 in. long, orange or scarlet, stalked, in large open terminal clusters, the crumpled corolla-lobes and stamens 5-12: drupe inclosed in the hazel-like husk formed by the persistent calyx. Keys of Fla. and south. B.M. 794.
Greggii, Torr. Much-branched shrub, to 8 ft.: leaves less than 1 in. long, pale, obovate, obtuse, dentate, rugose, long-cuneate at the base: flowers more than 1 in. across, white, in few-flowered contracted capitate clusters but becoming looser as flowering proceeds; corolla-lobes obtuse; stamens 5 or 6, scarcely half the length of the corolla. Mex. variety Palmeri, Wats. (Fig. 1051, adapted from G.F. 2:233) has more broadly funnel-form corolla, the limb 1 1/4 in. broad: leaves somewhat larger, ovate-oblong and abruptly cuneate at the base, acute or obtuse at the apex. Mex. - Deserving of planting in the southwest country, if hardy.
Other cordias are likely to come into cult, in the southern country, borne of them yield drugs, many of them produce useful timber, and some have edible fruits There are numbers of species in Porto Rico and others of the W. Indies. - C. Francisi, Tenore. Tall: leaves dark green: flowers white. S. Amer. - C. Myxa, Linn., from Irop. Asia and Austral., is one of the best woods for kindling fire by friction, and is useful in many other ways. L H B