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Useful Tropical Plants

Cordia subcordata

Lam.

Boraginaceae

+ Synonyms

Cordia moluccana Roxb.

Cordia orientalis R.Br.

Cordia rumphii Blume

Common Name: Marer

Cordia subcordata
Cultivated plant in Hawaii
Photograph by: David Eickhoff
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0
Cordia subcordata Cordia subcordata Cordia subcordata Cordia subcordata Cordia subcordata Cordia subcordata

General Information

Marer is an evergreen shrub or small tree with a dense, wide crown; it can grow 4 - 15 metres tall. The unbuttressed bole is often crooked, it can be free of branches for up to 8 metres and up to 60cm in diameter[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use, mainly for its timber, but also for fibre, dyestuff and edible uses. It is occasionally cultivated for its timber and is sometimes planted as an ornamental in gardens, where it is especially suitable for courts[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
,
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
].
Although it has a very wide range, the plant is confined to coastal areas. In the Papuasian region, a major concern has been the heavy exploitation of the species for native carvings and artefacts for the tourist trade, resulting in the rapid disappearance of many mature trees[
338
Title
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A list of plants under threat and facing possible extinction, usually with brief details of the threats and information on habitat.
]. The plant is classified as 'Least Concern' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2011)[
338
Title
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A list of plants under threat and facing possible extinction, usually with brief details of the threats and information on habitat.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
,
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
,
308
Title
Flora Zambesiaca
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://apps.kew.org/efloras/fz/intro.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online flora of plants from the Zambezi River basin. It lists a number of the plant uses as well as the habitats and botanical descriptions of the plants.

Range

East Africa to India, southern China, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, New Guinea, Australia, Pacific Islands.

Habitat

Coral beaches in east Africa[
308
Title
Flora Zambesiaca
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://apps.kew.org/efloras/fz/intro.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online flora of plants from the Zambezi River basin. It lists a number of the plant uses as well as the habitats and botanical descriptions of the plants.
]. Sandy, open woodland in southern China[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
]. Fairly common in secondary forest and thickets along the sea shore[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].

Properties

Conservation StatusLeast Concern
Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *
HabitTree
Height10.00 m
Growth RateFast
PollinatorsInsects
Cultivation StatusOrnamental, Wild

Cultivation Details

A plant of the tropical coasts, it grows best in areas where the annual precipitation is around 1,250mm[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
Prefers a moist, but well-drained soil and a position in full sun[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. It is suited for planting on sandy soils and can grow well in subhumid climates[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. Plants are reasonably tolerant of saline soils and also of some exposure to salt spray, though heavy salt spray can severely damage leaves[
436
Title
Native Plants Hawaii
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://nativeplants.hawaii.edu/plant/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A website containing information on a range of native Hawaiian plants, with descriptions, habitat, traditional uses etc.
]. Young plants are not very shade tolerant but can develop reasonably well under light conditions above 30% relative light intensity[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. Established plants are moderately drought resistant[
436
Title
Native Plants Hawaii
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://nativeplants.hawaii.edu/plant/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A website containing information on a range of native Hawaiian plants, with descriptions, habitat, traditional uses etc.
].
Trees grow fast on moderately fertile and well-drained sites. It has been reported from Buru (Indonesia) that young plants of C. subcordata can reach a height of 1.1 - 1.5 metres 10 months after planting on good sites. In East Java trees were 4 - 5 metres tall in a 2-year-old plantation and on average 7 metres tall after 4 years with an average diameter of 6.5cm[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
Plants can flower and fruit all year round[
372
Title
Flowers of India
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.flowersofindia.net/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Good quality photos and terse details on almost 2,000 species and cultivars.
].
Plants of 3 years old may already produce fruits. The fruits of this species are probably dispersed by ocean currents; they have a hard stone and corky tissue[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
Plants have a shallow root system and can be damaged by too much surface disturbance[
436
Title
Native Plants Hawaii
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://nativeplants.hawaii.edu/plant/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A website containing information on a range of native Hawaiian plants, with descriptions, habitat, traditional uses etc.
].

Edible Uses

In Polynesia, young leaves are sometimes chewed together with betel nut[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
,
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].

The fruit is eaten in some parts of its range[
307
Title
Tropical and Subtropical Trees - A Worldwide Encyclopaedic Guide.
Publication
 
Author
Barwick. M.
Publisher
Thames & Hudson, London
Year
2004
ISBN
0-500-51181-0
Description
A superb book, very concise and well written, giving a wealth of information on 400 or more species including descriptions, habitat, cultivation details and plant uses. A wealth of colour photographs bring each plant vividly to life.
]. The ovoid fruit is about 25mm long[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
].

Seed[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
]. Tasteless, it is more likely to be eaten in times of food shortage, though hungry children sometimes gather and eat them[
436
Title
Native Plants Hawaii
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://nativeplants.hawaii.edu/plant/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A website containing information on a range of native Hawaiian plants, with descriptions, habitat, traditional uses etc.
].

Medicinal

The plant has medicinal uses[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
]. No further information[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

Other Uses

A brown dye is obtained from the bark[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
].
A warm brown to red dye is obtained from older leaves. It is used to dye kapa[
436
Title
Native Plants Hawaii
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://nativeplants.hawaii.edu/plant/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A website containing information on a range of native Hawaiian plants, with descriptions, habitat, traditional uses etc.
].

A fibre obtained from the bark is used for making clothes, hats, baskets etc[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
].

The wood is reported to burn fast and can easily be ignited by rubbing two pieces of wood together[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

The heartwood is pale brown to dark brown, often with a purplish tinge and dark brown to nearly black streaks; it is distinctly demarcated from the pale yellowish brown sapwood. The grain is usually interlocked; texture moderately fine; the wood rather glossy[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. The wood is moderately lightweight, though wood from Polynesia is said to be heavier; soft but durable and very resistant to termites[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
,
354
Title
Plants of Guam
Publication
 
Author
Moore P.H. & McMakin P.
Website
http://university.uog.edu/cals/people/POG/scipn.htm
Publisher
University of Guam.
Year
1979
ISBN
 
Description
Brief details, usually with a photo, of plants native to the island of Guam, often together with some information on their uses. An online version is available.
,
436
Title
Native Plants Hawaii
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://nativeplants.hawaii.edu/plant/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A website containing information on a range of native Hawaiian plants, with descriptions, habitat, traditional uses etc.
]. It is easy to saw and can be worked well with both hand and machine tools; it takes a good finish with nice lustre when a filler is used[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. It is used for light construction, beams and posts, wharves, cabinets, furniture, musical instruments, scabbards, tools, carvings, and fancy articles; also for veneer[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
,
436
Title
Native Plants Hawaii
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://nativeplants.hawaii.edu/plant/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A website containing information on a range of native Hawaiian plants, with descriptions, habitat, traditional uses etc.
]. Traditionally used to make plates, cups, bowls etc because the wood does not impart any flavour to the food[
436
Title
Native Plants Hawaii
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://nativeplants.hawaii.edu/plant/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A website containing information on a range of native Hawaiian plants, with descriptions, habitat, traditional uses etc.
].
The wood is used for fuel in the Solomon Islands[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].

Propagation

Seed - seeds are reported to take 19 - 62 days to germinate, with about 25% of the seeds being viable[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. However, data from Indonesia show that viability may be as high as 90-100%, but seed collected from the ground showed 40-50% germination[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. The germination process can be sped up if the seed is first scarified by lightly abrading the seedcoat to allow easier ingress of water[
307
Title
Tropical and Subtropical Trees - A Worldwide Encyclopaedic Guide.
Publication
 
Author
Barwick. M.
Publisher
Thames & Hudson, London
Year
2004
ISBN
0-500-51181-0
Description
A superb book, very concise and well written, giving a wealth of information on 400 or more species including descriptions, habitat, cultivation details and plant uses. A wealth of colour photographs bring each plant vividly to life.
]. Storage under ambient conditions reduces the viability from 60% initially to 40% after 7 months[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. It is recommended to sow the seeds 1.5-2 cm deep, pointing downwards[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. Seedlings should be watered sparingly[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].

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