Coffea arabica

Coffee Tree . Even though it is native to the mountains of Ethiopia, it was the Arabs who introduced coffee to the world, hence the specific name. It was first cultivated in the Yemen and only later spread to other countries; it did not reach Amer ica until the 18th century. It makes a very attractive house plant. The opposite leaves are a glossy dark green and strongly wavy along the secondary veins. This feature makes it easy to identify even when it is not in flower. The fragrant, white flowers are produced throughout the year, so that there may be buds, fully opened flowers as well as fruits on a single plant at the same time. The fruit is a violet-red drupe with two pyrenes, concave on the outer side and flat on the inner side, each containing one seed – the coffee bean.

The Coffee Tree requires a tall pot for it has a long tap root. It should be grown in a mixture of rotted turves, leaf mould and sand. Water liberally and maintain a high level of humidity in summer. Restrict water in winter. It requires quite a high temperature; in winter this should not fall below 15°C (59° F). Propagate by seed, or by air layering in spring or summer.

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