African Cordia
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African Cordia
E Introduced Photo: Prashant Awale
Common name: African Cordia, Large-leaved cordia, Large-leaved saucer-berry
Botanical name: Cordia africana    Family: Boraginaceae (Forget-me-not family)
Synonyms: Cordia harara, Cordia holstii

African Cordia is a small to medium-sized evergreen tree, 4-15 m high, heavily branched with a spreading, umbrella-shaped or rounded crown. Bole is typically curved or crooked. Bark is greyish-brown to dark brown; young branchlets with sparse long hairs. Leaves are alternate, simple, ovate to nearly circular, 7.5-17.5 cm long, 3.5-10.2 cm broad; thinly leathery; dark green above, paler green and velvety below; with prominent parallel tertiary net-nerves (about 7 pairs of lateral nerves); tip broadly tapering or rounded; base rounded to shallowly lobed; margin entire; leaf-stalk slender, 2.5-7.6 cm long. Buds are oval, stalkless, pleated open into flowers that are bisexual, white, sweet scented, shortly stalked or nearly stalkless. Flowers are borne in compact panicles covering the crown. Calyx is less than 1 cm long, strongly ribbed, back of sepals covered with short, soft, brown hairs. Flowers are crinkled, white, long-exerted, funnel-shaped, about 2.5 cm long; cymes many flowered. Fruit is a drupe, smooth, spherical, oval tipped, fleshy, 1.3-1.5 cm long; green when young, yellow to orange when mature. African Cordia is native to Africa.

Identification credit: Shri Viplav Photographed near Munnar, Kerala.

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