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Cordia boissieri in bloom
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Boraginales
Family: Boraginaceae
Subfamily: Cordioideae
Genus: Cordia
Type species
Cordia myxa

See text


Cerdana Ruiz & Pav.
Cordiada Vell.
Cordiopsis Desv.
Lithocardium Kuntze
Rhabdocalyx Lindl.
Sebesten Adans.
Sebestena Boehm.[2]

Cordia is a genus of flowering plants in the borage family, Boraginaceae. It contains about 300 species of shrubs and trees, that are found worldwide, mostly in warmer regions. Many of the species are commonly called manjack, while bocote may refer to several Central American species in Spanish.

The generic name honours German botanist and pharmacist Valerius Cordus (1515–1544).[3] Like most other Boraginaceae, the majority have trichomes (hairs) on the leaves.


The taxonomy of Cordia is complex and controversial. Gottschling et al. (2005) say this is partly due to "extraordinarily high intraspecific variability" in some groups of species, making identification difficult, and partly due to new taxa having been "airily described on the basis of poorly preserved herbarium specimens".[4]

Selected species[edit]

Formerly placed here[edit]


Cordia species are used as food plants by the caterpillars of some Lepidoptera species, such as Endoclita malabaricus, Bucculatrix caribbea, and Bucculatrix cordiaella.[11] The wild olive tortoise beetle (Physonota alutacea) feeds on C. boissieri, C. dentata, C. inermis, and C. macrostachya.[12]



Many members of this genus have fragrant, showy flowers and are popular in gardens, although they are not especially hardy.[13]

As food[edit]

A number of the tropical species have edible fruits, known by a wide variety of names including clammy cherries, glue berries, sebesten, or snotty gobbles. In India, the fruits of local species are used as a vegetable, raw, cooked, or pickled, and are known by many names, including lasora in Hindi. One such species is fragrant manjack (C. dichotoma), which is called gunda or tenti dela in Hindi and lasura in Nepali. The fruit of the fragrant manjack is called phoà-pò·-chí (破布子), 樹子仔, or 樹子(Pe̍h-ōe-jī: chhiū-chí) in Taiwan where they are eaten pickled.


The white, gooey inner pulp of the fruits is traditionally used to make glue.[citation needed]


The wood of several Cordia species is commercially harvested. Ecuador laurel (C. alliodora), ziricote (C. dodecandra), Spanish elm (C. gerascanthus), and C. goeldiana are used to make furniture and doors in Central and South America.[13]

Ziricote[14] and bocote[15] are sometimes used as tonewoods for making the backs and sides of high-end acoustic guitars such as the Richard Thompson signature model from Lowden.[16] Similarly, drums are made from C. abyssinica, C. millenii, and C. platythyrsa due to the resonance of the wood.[17]


Cordia leaves can be dried and used to smoke marijuana with.[18]



  1. ^ "Cordia L." TROPICOS. Missouri Botanical Garden. Retrieved 2009-10-20.
  2. ^ "Cordia L." Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2007-10-05. Retrieved 2010-03-01.
  3. ^ Quattrocchi, Umberto (2000). CRC World Dictionary of Plant Names: A-C. CRC Press. pp. 612–613. ISBN 978-0-8493-2675-2.
  4. ^ Gottschling, Marc; Miller, James S.; Weigend, Maximilian & Hilger, Hartmut H. (2005-10-01). "Congruence of a Phylogeny of Cordiaceae (Boraginales) Inferred from ITS1 Sequence Data with Morphology, Ecology, and Biogeography". Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden. 92 (3): 425–437. JSTOR 40035480.
  5. ^ Grandtner, Miroslav M. (2005). Elsevier's Dictionary of Trees. Vol. 1. Elsevier. pp. 252–260. ISBN 978-0-444-51784-5.
  6. ^ "Cordia dichotoma Forst. f." Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Plant Growth Facilities. University of Connecticut. 2009-10-06. Archived from the original on 2008-05-15. Retrieved 2009-10-20.
  7. ^ "Cordia domestica". The Plant List. Retrieved 2015-06-26.
  8. ^ "Cordia obliqua". Germplasm Resources Information Network. Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 2015-06-26.
  9. ^ "Cordia obliqua". The Plant List. Retrieved 2015-06-26.
  10. ^ "Species Records of Cordia". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 2010-08-21.
  11. ^ Davis, Donald R.; Bernard Landry; Lazaro Roque-albelo (2002). "Two new Neotropical species of Bucculatrix leaf miners (Lepidoptera: Bucculatricidae) reared from Cordia (Boraginaceae)". Revue Suisse de Zoologie. 109 (2): 277–294. doi:10.5962/bhl.part.79591.
  12. ^ Quinn, Mike. "Wild Olive Tortoise Beetle Physonota alutacea Boheman, 1854". Texas Beetle Information. Texas Entomology. Retrieved 2010-04-05.
  13. ^ a b Bennett, Masha (2003). Pulmonarias and the Borage Family. Timber Press. pp. 196–198. ISBN 978-0-88192-589-0.
  14. ^ Luthiers Mercantile page about Ziricote
  15. ^ Luthiers Mercantile page about Ziricote
  16. ^ Presad, Anil (October 2009). "Richard Thompson" (PDF). Guitar Player: 50. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-06-10.
  17. ^ Tudge, Colin (2007). The Tree. Random House. p. 237. ISBN 978-0-307-39539-9.
  18. ^ "Why leaf pre-rolled cones make the cleanest, tobacco-free blunts". Leafly. 2021-01-13. Retrieved 2021-01-14.