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Orange Geiger Tree, Geranium Tree, Anaconda, Scarlet Cordia

Cordia sebestena

Family: Boraginaceae
Genus: Cordia (KOR-dee-uh) (Info)
Species: sebestena (seb-es-TAY-nuh) (Info)



Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)


12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)


USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade



Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:

Blooms all year



Other details:

This plant may be considered a protected species; check before digging or gathering seeds

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Big Pine Key, Florida

Boca Raton, Florida

Fort Myers, Florida (2 reports)

Hollywood, Florida

Homestead, Florida

Marathon, Florida

Miami, Florida (3 reports)

Naples, Florida

North Palm Beach, Florida

Oldsmar, Florida

Pompano Beach, Florida (3 reports)

Saint Petersburg, Florida

Sarasota, Florida (3 reports)

Sebastian, Florida

Stuart, Florida

Tampa, Florida (2 reports)

Harlingen, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Dec 21, 2014, Lovehum wrote:

On St John USVI's coast, I observed what I believed to be this tree teeming with hummingbird activity. In retrospect, I believe it was probably Cordia Rickseckeri after comparing leaves and flower shape. It is unlikely I will find the latter species available due to its threatened species status. It's unfortunately because it is a stunning tree which hummingbirds swarmed around.


On Sep 21, 2014, giegertree from Savannah, GA wrote:

Pretty little tropical tree.

Sorry, IFAS (U of Florida goons), but this tree is NOT a Florida native -- it was introduced into the Keys from Cuba.


On Jun 22, 2011, lisa33027 from Hollywood, FL wrote:

Although a desirable tree for bees and butterflies, it is also desirable to bugs - and lots of them. Geiger beetles, Sri Lankan Weevils and a host of other insects decimate this tree. I planted this Geiger tree 3 years ago and have had chewed leaves, few flowers and very little growth, and believe me, I take good care of it. Every time it starts to try and do something, the bugs decend. If you have a butterfly garden and don't use insecticides, I would re-think planting this tree...


On May 11, 2009, Rmplmnz from Tampa, FL wrote:

We have been growing this plant three plus years in the ground (and a year previously in a pot) with no problems.



On Jan 8, 2009, lauraroxie from Saint Petersburg, FL wrote:

These plants grow quite well in Tampa Bay. There are specimens at the St. Petersburg Veterans Hospital and I have seen several in neighborhoods. St. Petersburg is a 9b and temperatures drop to 26 last year and survived just fine with full bloom the following season.

There is also a tree at the USF botanical Gardens in Tampa (9A) that took low 20s in the same freeze as above and is reported to have done better than ever this season. i witnessed it in good bloom.

The freezing temperatures were not for several days an extended time, but rather quick freezes. After seeing so many large specimens in person, I believe these are safe for a lot of zone 9s if you are okay with losing them in those every 20-30 year freezes. The last one here was 1982.


On Mar 7, 2008, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have not grown this plant; however, i have pbserved it growing in Maui, Hawaii and love the blooms. Orange Geiger Tree, Geranium Tree, Anaconda, Scarlet Cordia (Cordia sebestena) was introduced into Florida and Puerto Rico and has naturalized.


On Oct 4, 2006, beckygardener from (Becky) in Sebastian, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

Purchased as a single trunk small tree which I planted 2 years ago. Died back this past winter in my zone. Came back this year as a large bush. It had a lot of eye-catching orange blooms and fruit this year. I don't do anything to it at all except fertilize once a year. Drought tolerant.


On Aug 28, 2006, princesscarol from Lake Worth, FL wrote:

three years ago i planted a yellow geiger tree that i purchased at the mounts botanical garden in wpb fl. it was about 2 ft. tall when puchased. it grew slowly the first 2 yrs. but was always flowering. this year it is now about 7 ft. tall beautiful shaped and survived last years2 hurricanes. we love the numerous yellow flowers that are ever present. we have never fetilized it.


On Sep 5, 2005, greenink from Hope Town Abaco,
Bahamas (Zone 11) wrote:

The lovely orange blossoms and nice size make this a positive addition. Beware: pests chew the leaves; best viewed from a distance. Puts out lots of new plants, from the seed pods.


On Jun 8, 2005, aztropic from Mesa, AZ wrote:

The orange geiger tree is very tropical and although they do fine even in full Arizona sun,if it hits 32 degrees over the winter,they are dead.I have a few in my greenhouse that are flowering and they are only in 1 and 2 gallon pots.The flowers are very deep orange color.


On Mar 22, 2003, Chamma from Tennille, GA (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have found out that the fruits are edible and although they smell nice, they are not very flavourful.