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The Cordia Nitida (Indian Cherry) is a handsome small evergreen or deciduous tree reaching 20 feet or more in height. Importantly, cold weather can induce leaf drop in this tree. Also, the bark is gray somewhat smooth but becomes furrowed and thick with age. Furthermore, the trunk has white spots and appears patchy. It has a rounded crown made up of whorled branches arranged in horizontal layers.
Additionally, Cordia Nitida (Indian Cherry) has alternate green leaves, shiny, stiff, elliptical slightly leathery, bent up a bit on each side of the midrib and measure 6 x 1-2 inches. This tree bears terminal flower clusters of numerous bell-shaped, short-stalked white blooms, 1/2 – 5/8 inch across. Flowers attract butterflies. Clusters of bright red, single-seeded, fleshy slightly-astringent rounded fruits, 1/2 inch or more in diameter, give the tree its common name. The species name means shining. Trunk wood chiefly used for posts. Can be grown in sandy, clay or loamy soils, if well-drained. Propagation is by seed or cuttings. There are no reported pest or disease problems.
In cultivation, this attractive small tree with its green leaves and red fruit can form thickets or be pruned as a specimen tree for growth in gardens or containers.
Other names: West Indian Cherry