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Shiny-leaved wild coffee
Psychotria nervosa

Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley

General Landscape Uses: A versatile shrub for informal hedges, mixed buffer plantings and natural landscapes. Learn more about gardening with shiny-leaved wild coffee for birds and other wildlife in Attracting Birds to South Florida Gardens.

Availability: Widely cultivated. Available in Lake Worth at Indian Trails Native Nursery (561-641-9488) and at Amelia's SmartyPlants (561-540-6296), in Boynton Beach at Sustainscape (561-245-5305), in Miami at Pro Native Consulting (786-488-3101), in Groveland at Green Isle Gardens (321-436-4932), in Sarasota at Florida Native Plants Nursery (941-322-1915) and in Melbourne at Native Butterfly Flowers (321-626-7386).

Description: Medium shrub with shiny, bright green leaves.

Dimensions: Typically 4-6 feet in height. Often as broad as tall.

Growth Rate: Moderate.

Range: Monroe County Keys north to Duval, Alachua and Levy counties; West Indies, Mexico, Central America and South America. Very rare in the lower Monroe County Keys.

Plant Map Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

 Map of suggested ZIP codes from South Florida north to southern Brevard, Osceola, Polk, and Pasco counties.

 Map of ZIP codes with habitat recommendations from the Monroe County Keys north to Martin and Charlotte counties.

Habitats: Moist forests.

Soils: Moist, well-drained sandy or limestone soils, with humusy top layer.

Nutritional Requirements: Moderate; can grow in nutrient poor soils, but needs some organic content to thrive.

Salt Water Tolerance: Low; does not tolerate long-term flooding by salt or brackish water.

Salt Wind Tolerance: High; can tolerate moderate amounts of salt wind without significant injury.

Drought Tolerance: Moderate; generally requires moist soils, but tolerant of short periods of drought once established.

Light Requirements: Light shade to full sun.

Flower Color: White.

Flower Characteristics: Semi-showy.

Flowering Season: All year; peak spring-summer.

Fruit: Red drupe. Edible.

Wildlife and Ecology: Provides significant food and cover for wildlife. Nectar plant for atala (Eumaeus atala), great southern white (Ascia monuste), julia (Dryas iulia), Schaus' swallowtail (Heraclides aristodemus), and other butterflies. Birds and other animals eat the fruits. Insects visit the flowers, which, in turn, provide food for insect-eating birds.

Horticultural Notes: Can be grown from de-pulped seed. Place seeds on top of soil and sprinkle soil over the seeds to just cover. Place container in light shade.

References: Nelson 2003, Schaefer & Tanner 1997

Comments: See also the Florida Wildflower Foundation's Flower Friday page.

Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley

Copyright by: James Johnson, 2014
In habitat, Secret Woods Buffer and Nature Center,
Broward County, Florida

Copyright by: George D. Gann, 2011
In habitat, Dominican Republic

Copyright by: George D. Gann
In habitat, South Florida

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: George D. Gann
In habitat, South Florida

Other data on Psychotria nervosa available from:

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