Common Name: Coffee plant
Latin Name: Coffea arabica
Family: Rubiaceae

Range and Abundance:
The Coffea plant is cultivated in many tropical and sub-tropical climates for its value as a crop. It originated from the mountains of Yemen in the Arabian Peninsula and also the southwestern highlands of Ethiopia.

Coloration:
The Coffea plant is a green plant with white leaves and red berries. The seed in the berry is a pale beige color.

Morphology:
The plant can grow 9 to 12 meters tall. It grows clusters of leaves and berries. It has elliptical shaped leaves with alternating veins.

Reproductive cycle:
The Coffea plant can self-fertilize via the wind. However, the most effective way the reproduce is with bees as pollinators.
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Habitat:
It grows best in a temperature range of 15°-24°C with a rainfall of 1,500 to 2,500 mm a year. It grows at an altitude of 600 to 2,000 meters. It grows best in loamy, slightly acidic soils. They have been shown to grow very well in volcanic soils, like the type of soil seen at Mi Cafecito.

Ecology:
The Coffea seed contains caffeine. This is what gives coffee its value. The plant contains this chemical as a defense against herbivory by other species. It uses it much the same way tobacco plants use nicotine. It grows well in volcanic soils at altitudes from 600 to 2,000 meters.

Interactions with other Species:
The plants berry contains a seed that possesses caffeine. The plant has developed this chemical as a defense against herbivory from other species. The species is often seen with epiphytes that may help in fixing nitrogen.

Personal Experience:
We visited a coffee plantation and followed a tour led by Walter. We saw many different plants at various life stages.


References:
Harding, P. Coffee [Coffea Arabica L. (Arabica Coffee); Coffea Canephora Pierre Ex Froehner (Robusta Coffee); Coffea Liberica Bull Ex Hiern. (Liberica Coffee); Coffea Excelsa Chev. (Excelsa Coffee)]. Rep. no. 4. Vol. 4. Kainantu: PNG Coffee Reasearch Institute, Papua New Guinea. Google. Web. 29 Apr. 2012.

Klein, A.-M., I. Steffan-Dewenter, and T. Tscharntke. "Bee Pollination and Fruit Set of Coffea Arabica and C. Canephora (Rubiaceae)." American Journal of Botany 90.1 (2003): 153-57. JSTOR. Web. 29 Apr. 2012.

Roskoski, Joann P. "N2 Fixation (C2H2 Reduction) by Epiphylls on Coffee,Coffea Arabica." Microbial Ecology 6.4 (1980): 349-55. JSTOR. Web. 29 Apr. 2012.