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Cordia laevigata - Clam cherry


Native to:



Panama and parts of the Caribbean.

Thickets, forests in coastal and limestone regions. Up to 500 meters above sea level. 12 meter tall tree.

Cordia laevigata - Clam cherry

Ecological value:

Attracts butterflies and bees. Used in apiculture. Frequently fruits throughout the year. Cordia species are used as food plants for moth and butterfly caterpillars, including Endoclita malabaricus, Bucculatrix caribbea, and Bucculatrix cordiaella.

Material uses:

The wood in this genus is hard, and when large enough is harvested for use in general construction or used in posts. Also used for fuelwood. Glue is reported to be made from the inner pulp of the fruit of Cordia spp.

Edible uses:

No record on this species, but most Cordia species have a sweet fleshy fruit which are generally edible.

Medicinal use:

No record on this species, although Cordia spp. leaves have been reported to be used as a wrapper to smoke marijuana.

Other details:

Fragrant and showy flowers makes the tree an attractive ornamental. Cordia laevigata belongs in a genus of 300 species of trees and shrubs, found throughout warmer regions.


Adrian Chiu/Christine Facella


“Cordia Laevigata Lam. | Plants of the World Online | Kew Science.” n.d. Plants of the World Online. Accessed November 27, 2023.
“Cordia Laevigata - Useful Tropical Plants.” n.d. Accessed November 27, 2023.
Staff, Leafly. 2021. “Why Leaf Pre-Rolled Cones Make the Cleanest, Tobacco-Free Blunts.” Leafly. January 13, 2021.
‌Davis, D R, B Landry, and L Roque-Albelo. 2002. “Two New Neotropical Species of Bucculatrix Leaf Miners (Lepidoptera: Bucculatricidae) Reared from Cordia (Boraginaceae).” Revue Suisse de Zoologie. 109: 277–94.
Image source: Stafford

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