Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Cordia myxa L.

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Leaves and fruit. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO

Linnaeus, C. von (1753) Species Plantarum 2: 190. Type: Habitat in Aegypto, Malabaria.

Common name

Glue Berry; Small Cordia; Sebastan Tree; Sapistan Tree; Cordia, Small; Cordia; Sebastan


Blaze darkens to a drab olive colour on exposure.


Twig bark strong and fibrous when stripped. Fine oak grain in the twigs. Domatia are tufts of hairs. Leaves have a slight sandpapery texture. Leaf blades about 4-12 x 2.5-7 cm.


Flowers sessile. Calyx tube +/- glabrous, irregularly splitting into lobes, lobes hairy. Corolla tube about as long as the calyx, corolla about 6-7 mm long overall. Stigmas strap-shaped, +/- foliaceous.


Fruiting calyx cup-like, enclosing the base of the fruit. Fruits about 1-1.5 cm long, +/- sticky when squashed, the pericarp having the consistency of glue.


Cotyledons transversely ovate, about 40 mm wide, apex crenate or lobed. A few short hairs present on the upper surface of the cotyledons and their petioles. At the tenth leaf stage: leaves broadly ovate, margins dentate; upper surface with a few scattered hairs along the midrib. Seed germination time 34 to 382 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Probably an introduced species, whose origins are uncertain, perhaps Africa or even Asia, now naturalised in WA, NT, CYPNEQ and CEQ and in south-eastern Queensland. Altitudinal range from sea level to 800 m. Often grows in open forest but also commonly found in monsoon forest. There is considerable doubt about the application of the name C. myxa to this taxon but until the taxonomic and nomenclatural problems are sorted out it is not possible to suggest a better alternative.

Natural History & Notes

In India this species is used for a variety of purposes. The fruit and leaves are eaten in one form or another and the bark is used in the manufacture of ropes. ( ordia.htm)

Cordia myxa var. ixiocarpa (F.Muell.) Domin, Bibliotheca Botanica 89(4): 1097(1928).
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