Wild Coffee

Psychotria nervosa

(Shrub)

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Profile for the Wild Coffee

Type of Plant: A native, erect, evergreen, woody branching shrub with smooth, sometimes hairy stems. Maximum height: to 10 feet in the south, usually 5-6 feet or less at the northern end of its range.
Habitat: Mesic (moist) to Hydric (wet) hammocks and pinelands.
Distribution: North central and southern peninsula of Florida and the Keys. Zones 8b - 11.
Landscape Use: Excellent evergreen landscape shrub with attractive flowers and fruit much of the year. Very distinctive, shiny, green foliage with depressed veins. Useful understory shrub or groundcover, as it tolerates deep shade. Use as an accent, border, foundation, hedge, or mass planting. Lends a tropical touch to the landscaping.
Wildlife Benefit: Flowers used for nectar by butterflies, especially the Zebra Longwing. Fruits eaten by birds and other wildlife. Weakly branched, but provides some cover in the understory.
Soil: Rich, moist preferred. Acid to alkaline.
Light: Partial sun to full shade. May tolerate full sun with supplemental irrigation.
Water: Dry to moist. Moist conditions preferred, but moderate drought tolerance.
Misc: Not salt tolerant. Roasted seeds have been used as a coffee substitute. Related to the true coffees, but not used commercially as a beverage. Teas from the leaves have been used for colds and stomach ailments.

 

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