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Medicinal, culinary and unusual botanicals from Australia and around the world

Cola nitida – Kola Nut (plant)

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Cola nitida is native to west Africa and now cultivated around the world for its seeds, called kola or cola nuts. It grows in tropical rainforests that receive 1200-1800mm of rainfall each year and with a distinct wet and dry season. Male and female flowers are borne on separate trees. Seeds can be white/green or red and are surrounded by a sweet tasting flesh.

The fresh seeds of Cola nitida contain around 3% caffeine as well as smaller amounts of theobromine and phenolics. Cola nuts stimulate the secretion of gastric juices, have a stimulating effect on the central nervous system and heart, have positive chronotropic and weak diuretic effects. Extracts are used in energy drinks and soft drinks (ie. Coca-Cola).

Care and Cultivation of Cola nitida

Cola nitida is an evergreen tree that can grow to 20m tall. Like a rich soil with good drainage. Fertilise moderately over the warmer months. Keep in a warmish place such as a hothouse over winter until large enough to deal with colder temperatures. This season we have left a number of our plants outside and they deal very well with colder temperatures around zero.

1 plant 


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