Cordia L.

Sp.Pl. 2:190 (1753)
Name Status

Scientific Description

Family Boraginaceae (sometimes separated in Ehretiaceae).

Habit and leaf form. Woody herbs, or trees, or shrubs. To 10 m high. Mesophytic. Leaves medium-sized; alternate; spiral; petiolate; non-sheathing; simple. Leaf blades dissected (lobed), or entire; elliptic, or ovate; pinnately veined; cross-venulate; attenuate at the base. Mature leaf blades glabrous, or pubescent. Leaves without stipules. Leaf blade margins entire, or crenate, or dentate. Leaves without a persistent basal meristem. Leaf anatomy. Hairs present, or absent. Stem anatomy. Secondary thickening developing from a conventional cambial ring.

Reproductive type, pollination. Fertile flowers hermaphrodite, or hermaphrodite and functionally male. Unisexual flowers present, or absent. Plants hermaphrodite, or andromonoecious. Male flowers with pistillodes (style and stigma reduced). Plants homostylous, or heterostylous (sometimes).

Inflorescence and flower features. Flowers aggregated in ‘inflorescences’; in cymes. The terminal inflorescence unit cymose. Inflorescences terminal, or axillary; cymose, sometimes contracted into a head. Flowers pedicellate; bracteate, or ebracteate; small to medium-sized; regular; (4–)5(–8) merous; tetracyclic. Free hypanthium absent. Hypogynous disk present. Perianth with distinct calyx and corolla; (9–)10(–13); 2 -whorled; isomerous, or anisomerous. Calyx present; 5; 1 -whorled; gamosepalous; lobed; blunt-lobed, or toothed; campanulate, or tubular; regular; persistent; accrescent (inflated and enclosing the fruit), or non-accrescent. Corolla present; (4–)5(–8) (lobed); 1 -whorled; gamopetalous; 4–8 lobed; imbricate, or valvate; campanulate, or funnel-shaped, or tubular; regular; hairy abaxially, or glabrous abaxially; glabrous adaxially; white, or yellow, or orange, or red. Androecium present. Androecial members definite in number. Androecium 5. Androecial sequence not determinable. Androecial members adnate (epipetalous); all equal; free of one another; 1 -whorled. Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens. Stamens 5; becoming exserted, or remaining included; usually isomerous with the perianth; oppositisepalous; all alternating with the corolla members. Filaments often basally hairy, or glabrous. Anthers versatile; dehiscing via longitudinal slits; introrse; tetrasporangiate. Fertile gynoecium present, or absent. Gynoecium 2 carpelled. The pistil 2 celled, or 4 celled. Carpels reduced in number relative to the perianth. Gynoecium syncarpous; synovarious to synstylovarious; superior. Ovary plurilocular (often slightly 4-lobed); 2 locular, or 4 locular (ostensibly, via false septa). Locules partially secondarily divided by ‘false septa’. Gynoecium median; stylate. Styles 1, or 4 (-branched); partially joined; 4-branched (by dividing twice); apical. Stigmas 4 (1 on each style branch); 2–4 - lobed; clavate, or capitate. Placentation axile to basal. Ovules 2 per locule; pendulous, or ascending; non-arillate; hemianatropous.

Fruit and seed features. Fruit fleshy, or non-fleshy (rarely); indehiscent; a drupe; 1–4 seeded. Seeds endospermic, or non-endospermic.

H.R. Coleman and Leslie Watson, 8 September 2016

Taxonomic Literature

  • Wheeler, J. R.; Rye, B. L.; Koch, B. L.; Wilson, A. J. G.; Western Australian Herbarium (1992). Flora of the Kimberley region. Western Australian Herbarium. Como, W.A.