Flora of the Hawaiian Islands
Dicotyledon Literature for Cordia subcordata
Wagner et al., 1990, 1999; Lorence & Wagner, 2020.
   Cordiaceae Bibliography
      Cordia subcordata

Common name(s): kou
General Information
DistributionSoutheast Asia, Malesia, coastal tropical East Africa, Indian Ocean islands, Australia (Queensland), throughout Micronesia, and most Pacific archipelagoes. Possibly spread throughout the Pacific region by the early migrations of Austronesian people, but subfossil evidence indicates it antedates humans in the Hawaiian Islands at least.In the Hawaiian Islands, indigenous to Ni`ihau, Kaua`i, O`ahu, Moloka`i, Lana`i, Maui, Hawai`i.

Tree to 12 m tall, sometimes producing shoots from extensive shallow roots and forming thickets.
Leaves petiolate; blade thin chartaceous to subcoriaceous, broadly ovate to elliptic, 10‒26 cm long, 8‒17.5 cm wide, tomentose along the main veins on the abaxial surface, otherwise glabrous, secondary veins 4‒6 on each side, margin entire to undulate, apex acuminate, base subcordate to rounded or acute; petiole 4‒12 cm long.
Inflorescences an open 3‒10-flowered cyme. Flowers on pedicel 3‒8 mm long; calyx pale green, glossy, ca. 1 cm long, lobes ciliate; corolla orange, 5‒7-lobed, tube 2.3‒3 cm long, darker than the lobes, lobes wrinkled, 3‒4.5 cm long; stamens 5‒7, alternate with corolla lobes, filaments 6‒8 mm long, anthers 3‒4 mm long; style 20‒25 mm long, stigma bilobed, each lobe bifid.
Fruit green when young, becoming brown and dry at maturity, subglobose to broadly ovoid, sometimes slightly asymmetrical, 2‒3 cm long, 1.8‒2.5 cm in diameter, surrounded by the enlarged persistent calyx.
Seeds 4, white, usually 1‒1.3 cm long.
Nancy Khan