Scarlet Cordia
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Scarlet Cordia
ntroduced Photo: Dinesh Valke
Common name: Scarlet Cordia, Orange Geiger Tree, Sebesten plum, Geiger Tree • Bengali: Kamla buhal, Raktarag • Hindi: लाल लसॊड़ा Lal Lasora, Bohari • Kannada: Challekendala • Tamil: Aechinaruvihli • Telugu: Virigi
Botanical name: Cordia sebestena    Family: Boraginaceae (Forget-me-not family)
Synonyms: Cordia laevis, Cordia juglandifolia, Cordia sebestena var. rubra

Scarlet cordia is a small shapely tree which grows up to be 25 feet tall and as wide and can develop a trunk 12 inches thick. Because of its large tubular scarlet flowers, is one of the most popular of the West Indian trees. Appearing throughout the year, but especially in spring and summer, are dark orange, 2 inches across flowers which appear in clusters at branch tips. Flowers are orange, with a narrowly crinkly tube, flaring open into a flat-faced flower. Sepal tube is long and narrow, longitudinally channelled. The large, ovate, 20-25 cm long, stiff, dark green leaves are rough and hairy, feeling much like sandpaper. Flowers are followed by 2.5-5 cm long, pear-shaped fruits, which have a pleasant fragrance but are not particularly tasty. Scarlet Cordia is native to the northern coast of South America.

Identification credit: Navendu Pagé Photographed in Maharashtra & Delhi

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