Last week I posted about spring flowering trees in Tropic Florida. One was a new plant to me, White Geiger or Cordia, the other is a Geiger Tree which I have encountered fairly frequently. Both trees belong to the Genus, Cordia.

This is the Geiger Tree, named shockingly for a guy named Geiger, who was a prominent Conch (resident of Key West) in the 1800’s. The botanical name is Cordia sebestena. These are reported to grow to 25′ tall, I have yet to see one that size. This may be due to a fairly recent availability in the nursery trade. These trees are native to South Florida and the Caribbean. I see them flowering off and on during the year – the floral display seems more prolific in the spring.

Geiger Tree

Geiger Tree

Geiger Flower

Geiger Flower

The tree always seems a bit gangly to me, but the flower certainly gives an orange burst of tropical vibe to the surroundings.

White Geiger Tree

White Geiger Tree

In my opinion, the White Geiger Tree or Cordia (also called Texas Wild Olive, for reasons unknown to me) is a more attractive tree with a more formal shape. The botanical name being Cordia boissieri, this tree is native to the Rio Grande Valley and South Texas. Reportedly more cold hardy but still evergreen and about 25 feet tall, White Cordias are not very popular yet in South Florida. I think they will be.

I have sourced a local grower with one of these in stock. It is just a matter of time before a White Geiger Tree appears in my garden.


5 comments on “Cordias

  1. mattb325 says:

    The Orange Geiger tree has a really nice flower, but I’m with you on the shape and overall attractiveness of the White Geiger tree….no doubt it will grace your garden very soon 🙂


    • Thanks, the growers have these in #15 – those trees I took pictures of are the only ones I have ever seen and the Florida book from the eighties says the plant was nearly extinct. Interesting stuff.
      I have a burning Australia question. I used to go to Maui quite a bit and saw (if I remember correctly) Banksia Trees with foliage like rick rack – do you know this plant? it is a Queensland thing?

      Liked by 1 person

      • mattb325 says:

        That would be Banksia serrata…it’s a coastal tree that grows from Tasmania through to Queensland but is mostly found in costal NSW. It’s quite happy in humidity and in zones 8b through to 11a but you may struggle to find it in the states. Banksia integrifolia is the more commercially available as it is far more cold tolerant


      • I have never seen one in the continental US, not to say there is not one here….somewhere. I saw these Up country in Maui at least 10 years ago. They were being grown with Proteas – another thing you never see in Florida!? I will have to search.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Chloris says:

    Beautiful and I do recognise it now I have seen the orange one. I have seen it in Martinique but I didn’t know what it was called. How wonderful to be able to grow it.


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