Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds - Online edition

Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides

Ecuador laurel (Cordia) (496)

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  • Moderately restricted distribution (not Asia, limited Africa). In Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu.
  • Fast-growing pioneer tree invasive in cocoa and coffee plantations, roadsides, shifting cultivation. Growing vigorously in full sunlight, fertile, well-drained soils, rainfall 2000-5000mm annually. Large seed production. Planted within native forests in Vanuatu, and later spreading to adjacent overgrazed pastures. Invasive in FSM, Samoa and Tonga.
  • Up to 35m high, to 50cm diameter. Leaves lance-shaped to oval up to 15cm, slightly rough to smooth on stalks 1-3cm. Flowers in groups up to 30cm across, arising from leaf axils or terminally, individually white, five lobes 5-7mm, surrounded by 10-ribbed leaf-like calyx. Fruit cylindrical, enclosed by remains of flowers, containing single seed.
  • Spread: short distances by root suckers; longer distances by seed on the wind. Distributed worldwide as a plantation or shade species.
  • Biosecurity: See FAO ( for impacts.
  • Biocontrol: none.
  • Cultural control: hand-weed seedlings; slash sapling, collect cuttings and burn.
  • Chemical control: Use triclopyr or 2,4-D applied to basal bark or cut stems.
Common Name

Ecuador laurel. It is also known as Spanish elm, salmwood, cypre.

Scientific Name

Cordia alliodora; previously, it was known as Cerdana alliiodora. It is a member of the Boraginaceae.

AUTHOR Grahame Jackson
Information from Ken Fern 2021) Tropical Plants Database. (; and Cordia alliodora (Ruiz & Pavon) Oken, Boraginaceae (2013) Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER). (; and from CABI (2019) Cordia alliodora (Ecuador laurel). Invasive Species Compendium. ( Photos 1-3 Emeline 'Ahoafi Vaini Research Station, Tonga. Photos 4-7 Karen Bix (2011) Cordia alliodora (salmwood). BioNET-EASFRINET Keys and Fact sheets. Taxonomy for Development in East Africa. (;

Produced with support from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research under project HORT/2016/185: Responding to emerging pest and disease threats to horticulture in the Pacific islands, implemented by the University of Queensland and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.

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