Garden Oracle / Drought and Heat Tolerant Gardening / Tucson - Phoenix - Arizona - California

Growing Cordia boissieri:
Texas Olive

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Form: A shrub, or with pruning, a tree.
Leaf retention: Evergreen but frost-deciduous.
Growth rate: Slow to moderate.
Mature Size: 15-30' high and 10-20' wide.
Flowers: Two inch diameter, clustered, white flowers with yellow throats.
Bloom: Spring through fall.
Fruit: The small, untasty fruit resemble olives and turn purple when ripe. They are edible only when cooked.
Leaves: Green, ovate, to 5" long. This plant provides moderate shade.
Stems: No thorns.
Wildlife: Attracts butterflies and birds.
Toxic / Danger: The raw fruit are mildly poisonous.
Origin: Texas and Mexico.

Cultivation and Uses
USDA hardiness zones: 9-11. Tip damage below 25°F.
Heat tolerant: Yes.
Drought tolerant: Yes.
Sun: Full sun.
Water once established: Once or twice a month. Water frequently to establish, then water no more than once a week. This plant is susceptible to Texas root rot in moist soil.
Soil: Well drained, dry, pH 6.6-8.5 (neutral to alkaline). It is saline intolerant.
Planting: This plant can be grown in a large container.
Prune: During the winter, trim to shape.
Litter: High. Flower and fruit drop.
Propagation: Cuttings are the preferred method. Seed do best when cleaned without being dried, stratified at 70°F for two weeks, then stratified at 100-105°F until germination.
Uses: Ornamental.

This plant is a member of the Borage family (Boraginaceae). It is not related to the Olive family (Oleaceae).

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Cordia boissieri: Texas Olive - flower

Cordia boissieri: Texas Olive - flowers

Cordia boissieri: Texas Olive - fruit

Cordia boissieri: Texas Olive tree

Latest update: February, 2019
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