Robusta Coffee
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Robusta Coffee
ntroduced Photo: Dinesh Valke
Common name: Robusta Coffee • Assamese: কফি kaphi • Bengali: কফি kaphi • Gujarati: કૉફી kophi • Hindi: काफ़ी kafi, कॉफी kophi • Kannada: ಬುಂದು, ಬೂಂದು Bundu, ಕಾಫಿ kaaphi, Coffee • Konkani: कॉफि kawphi • Malayalam: കാപ്പിച്ചെടി kaappicceti • Manipuri: kophi • Marathi: कवा kava, कॉफि kophi • Mizo: kaw-fi • Nepali: कहुवा kahuwa, काफि kaphi • Tamil: காபி kapi • Telugu: కాఫీ kaaphii • Tulu: ಬುನ್ನು Bunnu, ಬೂಣು Boonu
Botanical name: Coffea canephora    Family: Rubiaceae (Coffee family)
Synonyms: Coffea robusta

Robusta Coffee grew indigenously in Western and Central Africa. It was not recognized as a species of Coffea until the 19th century, about a hundred years after Coffea arabica. The plant has a shallow root system and grows as a robust tree or shrub up to about 10 m. It flowers irregularly, taking about 10-11 months for cherries to ripen, producing oval shaped beans. Leaf-stalk is 1-2 cm long, hairless. Leaves are drying thickly papery, elliptic, elliptic-oblong, or occasionally ovate-oblong, 15-30 × 6-12 cm, hairless on both surfaces, base wedge-shaped to broad, margins flat or occasionally crisped-wavy, tip long-pointed with tip 1-1.8 cm. Secondary nerves are 10-12 pairs. Inflorescences with cymes 1-3 in each leaf axil, each cyme 3-6-flowered, stalkless to stalked with stalks up to 7 mm. Flower-stalks are up to 2 mm. Sepal cup is hairless. Flowers white to pink, funnel-shaped. Flower tube is 5-16 mm; petals 5-7, spatula-shaped to narrowly elliptic, 8-19 mm, obtuse to rounded. Fruit is red, round, 1.0-1.2 cm across, smooth when dry, hairless. The robusta plant has a greater crop yield than that of Coffea arabica. As it is less susceptible to pests and disease, robusta needs much less herbicide and pesticide than arabica.

Identification credit: Dinesh Valke Photographed at Kodagu Valley Resort, Madikeri, Karnataka.

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