AZ Arboretums

Cordia parvifoli

Littleleaf cordia

Common: Littleleaf cordia
Family: Boraginaceae
Origin: Occurs in Mexico from Sonora to Coahuila, Durango, Zacatecas and central Baja California.
Temperature: Cold hardiness is quite good, to about 18 degrees F. Accepts hot and windy conditions.
Light: Needs full sun.
Soil: Best with good drainage, but will grow in most soil types.
Water: Drought tolerant once established. Supplemental irrigation in summer will help extend the blooming period. Prolonged drought causes leaves to drop, but recovers with new water.

Usual habitat includes arroyos, alluvial flats and rocky plains. Interesting addition to landscape. White flowers accentuate colors of other desert flowers while providing a visual cooling effect. Can be planted singly, as an accent, or massed for an informal hedge or screen. Use for desert effect. Open branched informal shrub reaching 4-8 feet high and 4-10 feet wide. Open growth habit makes this shrub look airy and delicate from a distance. Evergreen. Interesting gray-green leaves, one inch long and 1/2 inch wide. Dazzling display of textured, paper-like white bell-shaped flowers that appear sporadically from February to November in response to rain or open irrigation.

Minimal pruning is needed to keep this shrub looking attractive. Plant during cool weather, spacing plants 8 to 9 feet apart for a solid mass at maturity.