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Arid Zone Trees All of our plants meet or exceed the minimum requirements of the American Standard for Nursery Stock (ANSI Z60.1)

Cordia boissieri

Texas Olive

Foliage: Evergreen

Mature Height: 16’ - 23’

Mature Width: 10' - 16’

Growth Rate: Slow/Moderate

Hardiness: 18 degrees F

Exposure: Full Sun

Leaf Color: Green

Shade: Filtered to Dense

Flower Color:  Bright White

Flower Shape: Trumpet

Flower Season: Spring to Fall

Thorns: None

Propagation Method: Seed & Clone

Sizes Available: #25


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Cordia boissieri PDF


Cordia boissieri (Texas Wild Olive) is an evergreen, large shrub/small tree that is native from south Texas to central Mexico. The literature reports a mature size of about 23’ tall by 16’wide. While specimens this size are rarely seen in designed landscape, this is likely due to its somewhat recent introduction as a cultivated landscape tree. Leaves are deep green with a furry feel, rather thick, oval-shaped and about 5” long. Stunning, bright, 2” white funnel-shaped flowers can be produced year round in warm climates and typically peak during the spring and summer months. Flowers are followed by the development of pale green fruit that mildly resemble olives, hence the common name. Birds, including hummingbirds, animals and butterflies are attracted to the flowers and fruit, making it a wonderful addition to the landscape, beyond its obvious physical attractiveness.


Cordia thrives in full sun in well drained soils. Once established, trees require modest supplemental irrigation, mostly in the hot summer months. More frequent irrigation encourages faster, lusher foliage and increased flower displays. In frost free locations or in warmer years trees are evergreen, with leaf damage at temperatures in the mid 20's°F and wood hardy to around 18°F. Flowers, leaves and fruit generate plant litter, regularly, so placement within the landscape need to take this into consideration. At present, trees are produced from seed yet appear remarkable uniform in size, leaf and flower development and growth rate. Efforts are underway to develop cloning methods that will further enhance uniformity.


Their general cold hardiness, durability, drought tolerance, rich green color and wonderful flowers (the bulk being produced in the hotter desert months) make Cordia boissieri a tree with broad landscape applications throughout the desert southwest. Trees can be planted in grouping to emphasize flower displays, as low screen and wind breaks, in small landscape settings and as individual trees planted in combination with deciduous trees and shrubs.



Disclaimer: The information provided here was gathered from research literature published by the University of Arizona, other professional Landscape and Horticultural organizations and our experience at Arid Zone Trees. Always consult local landscape experts for recommendation for your specific area.

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