Pachycormus discolor

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Pachycormus discolor
Elephant tree.jpg
Pachycormus discolor amongst cacti
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Sapindales
Family: Anacardiaceae
Subfamily: Anacardioideae
Genus: Pachycormus
Coville ex Standl.
P. discolor
Binomial name
Pachycormus discolor
(Benth.) Coville
  • Schinus discolor Benth.

Pachycormus is a monotypic genus of flowering plants in the cashew family. The generic name refers to pachy for "thick" and kormos for "stump," referring to the thick caudiciform trunk. The specific epithet dis refers to a negation of color. The single species is Pachycormus discolor endemic to the Baja California peninsula.

Called the Baja elephant tree, torote blanco, or copalquín,[1] plants are grown in containers by caudiciform succulent aficionados. There are 2 to 3 subspecies. Only seed grown specimens develop the caudex. Note: the common name "elephant tree" is also applied to Bursera microphylla as well as other species.


Trees to 20 feet tall and as wide, marginally frost tolerant with tip damage at 32 degrees F, death at 25 degrees F. Plants do best in full sun. Exfoliating white outer bark reveals blue-green, photosynthetic inner bark. Leaves dark green, pinnately compound, pubescent, drought deciduous. Cream flowers with pink centers appear in May, and can bloom into September, depending on moisture levels.[2]



  1. ^ Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum (Tucson, Ariz.) (2000). A Natural History of the Sonoran Desert. University of California Press. p. 181. ISBN 978-0-520-21980-9.
  2. ^ Soule, J.A. 2013. Success With Succulents. Tierra del Sol Press.