This tree has a characteristic stem when young, sweeping upwards in gentle curves, changing direction at persistent branch whorls; this gives the older tree an irregular, wavy bole. C.g.i. a tree of 30 m high and over 100 cm Ø. Tree often low-branched. Tree often planted because the wood is used to make drums and for carving. (Note: a smaller Cordia species, C. millenii is also often found planted in or near villages). Leaf blade cordate, 15 – 20 (25)x 10 – 15 cm, 3-nerved at base, about 3 pairs of laterals; venation lax-scalariform. Slash thick, soft-fibrous, often contoured, easily peeled, the peeled strips with lens-shaped pores (where the wood/bark-rays were), white to yellowish or orange. Slash discolours quickly into dirty greyish white. Many Annonaceous trees have similar pores in bark strips. See also PROTA database.