Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Cordia subcordata Lam.

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Flower [not vouchered]. CC-BY J.L. Dowe
Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Fruit, side view and cross section. © W. T. Cooper
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO

Lamarck, J.B.A.P.Monnet de (1792) Tableau Encyclopedique et Methodique 1 : 421. Type: Ex insulis Praliniis. Commers. herb.

Common name

Cordia; Sea Trumpet


Blaze darkening rapidly on exposure.


Domatia are tufts of hair and occur along the midrib and at forks on the lateral veins. Twig bark strong and fibrous when stripped. Fine oak grain in the twigs. Leaf blades about 8-18 x 4-16 cm.


Flowers pedicellate. Calyx tube glabrous, lobes slightly hairy. Corolla tube much longer than the calyx, corolla 2.5-4 cm long overall, lobes crumpled in the bud.


Fruiting calyx usually entirely enclosing the fruit. Fruit about 3 cm long.


Cotyledons transversely ovate, 25-30 mm wide, apex crenate or lobed. Hairy on the upper surface and petiole. At the tenth leaf stage: leaves ovate, margin smooth, upper surface hairy. Seed germination time 34 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in WA, NT, CYP, NEQ and CEQ. Altitudinal range very small, from sea level to about 20 m. Usually restricted to maritime situations both on the mainland and on the offshore islands. Grows in monsoon forest and beach forest. Also occurs on the east coast of Africa, Indian Ocean islands, India, SE Asia, Malesia and the Pacific islands.

Natural History & Notes

This species was very useful in Polynesian life. Its timber was easy to carve into bowls and other items but was prized as a timber for the construction of canoes.

Cordia orientalis R.Br., Prodromus Florae Novae Hollandiae : 498(1810), Type: Australia, R. Brown, v.v.
RFK Code
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