Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Cordia dichotoma G.Forst.

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Flowers [not vouchered]. CC-BY J.L. Dowe
Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Leaves and fruit. © CSIRO
Fruit, side view, cross section and seeds. © W. T. Cooper
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage with cotyledons at base. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO

Forster, J.G. (1786) Florulae Insularum Australium Prodromus : 18. Type: New Caledonia.

Common name

Cordia Tree; Glue Berry Tree; Cordia


Fine oak grain in the wood and a corresponding pattern in the inner blaze. Blaze darkening on exposure to dark grey green.


Fine oak grain in the twigs. Twig bark strong and fibrous when stripped. Leaf blades about 3.5-21 x 2.5-10.5 cm, rather thin in texture, about 4-7 pairs of lateral veins. Petioles about 2-3 cm long. Leaf blades turn almost black on drying in the forest. Domatia, if present, are tufts of hairs.


Flowers sessile. Calyx tube hairy on the outer surface. Corolla tube shorter than the calyx, corolla about 6-7 mm long overall.


Fruiting calyx cup-like, enclosing only the base of the fruit. Fruits about 1.5-2 cm long, +/- sticky when squashed, the pericarp being soft and succulent.


Cotyledons transversely ovate, about 20-25 mm wide, apex crenate or lobed. A few short hairs on the upper surface near the base and on the petiole. At the tenth leaf stage: leaves ovate or elliptic, margins serrate. Seed germination time 21 to 39 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Widespread in WA, NT, CYP, NEQ, CEQ and southwards to coastal central Queensland. Altitudinal range from sea level to 700 m. Usually grows in drier rain forest or rain forest subject to substantial dry season water stress. Also occurs in New Caledonia, Malesia, SE Asia and India.

Natural History & Notes

A food plant for the larval stages of the Common Oakblue Butterfly. Common & Waterhouse (1981).

The fermented fruits of this species together with black beans are used in Chinese cooking.

Cordia ixiocarpa F.Muell., Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae 1: 59(1858), Type: In collibus humilibus ad flumen Gilbert. Leichhardt, Mueller. Cordia brownii DC., Prodromus 9: 499(1845), Type: in Nova Hollandia intra tropicum. C. dichotoma Forst. prodr. n. 110?.
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