Caffeine Kola Nut Tree (cola nitida)

True Kola! This is where cola beverages get their name from. A tropical tree from the West African rain-forests, Cola Nitida is best known for its caffeine-containing seeds, known as kola nuts. Raw seeds are chewed as a stimulant. Large green semi glossy leaves hide blooms of small, star-shaped, five petal flowers in off-white to cream, and a blotched red-purple center The pollinated flowers mature into knobby green pods and open to reveal 4 to 8 smooth seeds in either red or white. They contain caffeine, theobromine (also found in cacao), tannins, fructose and kolanin. This magnificent evergreen can grow to 66 feet tall and can have a trunk that is up to 4 feet in diameter or more.

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Urban Tropicals Horticulture