The Texas Olive, also known as Cordia boissieri is a flowering tree from the borage family (Boraginaceae). It is a native of North America extending from Texas to Central Mexico. The Texas Olive also has other popular names which include Mexican Olive, Texas Wild Olive, and White Cordia. It can grow to a height of 16 to 23 feet and about 25 feet in diameter. It has large deep green leaves with coarse and leathery texture which are about 18 cm long and 5 cm wide. The plant has white flowers that are shaped like a funnel and are usually found on the tree the entire year. The Texas Olive requires full bright or partial sunlight and blossoms in deep, over-drained soils. It produces small and edible olive-like fruits that are usually consumed by birds and other animals. Its fruits are sweet with fresh toxicity but can be quite unpalatable as it causes dizziness in humans. However, birds and butterflies quite enjoy its flavor and nectar which makes the tree an active spot with constant activities throughout the year.
The Texas Olive tree can grow into a round, dense shrub that can be used as a background or a foundation but also very easy to prune into a small-sized specimen plant. The tree has a life expectancy of about 30 to 50 years.
The Texas Olive have remarkable and attractive flowers that continually flourish from late winter through to late summer.
The Texas Olive is a frost resistant and drought tolerant plant. The Texas Olive might lose their leaves during extreme frost condition. It is also recommended that the tree be planted very close to the house where heat can be properly managed and regular pruning can also be carried out. Pruning the canopies of the plant creates room for people to easily walk through or cars especially if it is planted along the walkway in a street or garden.
The Texas Olive fruits can be used to produce jellies that can be used in the textile industry to dye cloths and also have other medical and therapeutic benefits for treating different diseases such as relieving cough, alleviating pulmonary diseases and rheumatism. The Cordia boissieri tree can also be used as firewood and other carpentry works.