in Tucson, Phoenix,
Arizona and California

Gardening in Tucson, Phoenix, Arizona and California

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Cordia boissieri: Anacahuita / Mexican Olive

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Form: A shrub, or with pruning, tree.
Leaf retention: Evergreen but frost-deciduous.
Growth rate: Slow to moderate.
Mature Size: 15-30' high and wide.
Flowers: Two inch diameter, clustered, white flowers with yellow throats.
Bloom: Spring through fall.
Fruit: Small, untasty fruit resemble olives but are unrelated. Fruit turns purple to brown.
Leaves: Green, ovate, to 5" long. Provides moderate shade.
Stems: No thorns.
Wildlife: Attracts butterflies and birds.
Toxic / Danger: Fruit are mildly poisonous but safe when cooked.
Origin: Native to 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.
Soil: Well drained, dry, pH 6.6-8.5 (neutral to alkaline).
Prune: To develop strong structure.
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.
Pests: Susceptible to Texas root rot in moist soil.
Uses: Ornamental.

Other common names are Texas Olive and Wild Olive.

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Cordia boissieri: Mexican Olive - flower

Cordia boissieri: Mexican Olive - flowers

Cordia boissieri: Mexican Olive - fruit

Cordia boissieri: Mexican Olive tree