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COFFEA canephora

Image of Coffea canephora

Family

Rubiaceae

Botanical Name

COFFEA canephora

Plant Common Name

Robusta Coffee

General Description

Robusta coffee is an attractive upright evergreen shrub native from the western sub-Saharan African coast to the Congo River Basin. It yields coffee considered inferior in flavor and quality to the more renowned Coffea arabica, though it is much easier to grow than its more picky cousin as it can withstand higher growing temperatures and poorer soils.

This species blooms in springtime with clusters of pretty white flowers at the base of the leaves. Bees pollinate the blooms and green drupe fruits follow that mature to red. The large oval leaves remain glossy emerald green year round and have a quilted texture.

Coffee grows best in partial sun and needs moist, fertile, well-drained soil. Robusta coffee plants are much more resistant to the fungal coffee rust that afflicts Arabian coffee and tolerant of more heat and chilly temperatures, but never frost. Use as an accent shrub, or a large houseplant for a warm, very bright room. Robusta coffee plantations usually are located in the tropical lowlands as compared to Arabica coffee plants, which are grown at higher altitudes where temperatures are cooler and growing conditions richer and moister.

Robusta coffee beans are ground and typically mixed with arabica beans to make intermediate beverage blends. Robusta beans are commonly used for instant coffee products.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    10 - 15

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Broadleaf Evergreen

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    10'-18' / 3.0m - 5.5m

  • Width

    5'-10' / 1.5m - 3.0m

  • Bloom Time

    Spring, Late Spring

  • Native To

    Middle Africa, Western Africa

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Arching/Fountain-shaped

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White

  • Fruit Color

    Red

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Light Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Bark Color

    Sandy Brown

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    Yes

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Exfoliating

  • Usage

    Edible, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes