Coffee colubrina


Coffee colubrina, greenheart, or wild coffee is native to southern Florida, the Antilles and Central America. Its size varies greatly depending on the location; in dry coastal areas it reaches a height of 10 feet with a trunk 2 inches in diameter, while in moist mountain forests it grows to 50 feet with a trunk 10 or more inches in diameter. The bark of young trees is grayish, smoooth and peels in strips which are used to make mabí, a local drink. The leaves are up to 6 inches long and are distributed in two rows grouped toward the ends of branches, where both young stems and leaves have a rusty pubescense. Flowers are about an quarter of an inch wide and appear in groups near the bases of the leaves. Fruits are capsules about a quarter of an inch wide which at maturity turn black and split in three parts to liberate an equal number of shiny black seeds. It flowers and produces fruits irregularly from spring to fall. The generic name means snake-like, apparently in reference to the shape of the anthers or the stems. The species name means tree-like.

The photographed tree is west of the new Agricultural Sciences greenhouses and is the only member of the species in the campus.

Flowers: this link.

Colubrina arborescens (Rhamnaceae)