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Coffea arabica L.

Family Name: Rubiaceae
Synonyms: Coffea arabica var. typica
Common Name: Coffee Tree, Arabica Coffee, 小果咖啡, 咖啡樹, 小粒咖啡
Semi Shade Moderate Water Bird-Attracting Plant Fragrant Plant Tree


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Tree (Shrubby (1m-5m), Small (6m-15m))
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Maximum Height 2 m to 8 m


Native Distribution Ethiopia, Sudan
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Mountain)
Preferred Climate Zone Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal
Local Conservation Status Exotic (Horticultural / Cultivated Only)

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Small tree up to 8 m tall. In large scale cultivation, it is often pruned to form a large shrub.
Foliage Green, usually glossy leaves are elliptic (oval with pointed, opposite ends).
Flowers White, tubular flowers are star-shaped and 5-lobed. They have a sweet fragrance.
Fruits Oval, glossy fruits are known as berries. They are usually red at maturity, but they can also be yellow or purple. The soft, fleshy tissue is edible and tastes sweet. The seed is protected by a hard casing known as a pyrene.
Habitat It naturally occurs in humid, montane environments at altitudes of 950-1950 m.
Cultivation In Singapore, Coffea arabica grows best in semi-shade, but becomes sickly under full sun.
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts (Edible Seeds, Edible Fruits)
[Others]: The seeds are used to make coffee. First, the tough layer surrounding the seed is removed. The seed is then roasted, ground and mixed with hot water to make coffee.

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Fragrant (Flowers) (Day)
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Fertile Loamy Soils, Well-Drained Soils, Acidic (low pH) Soils

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Bird Attracting
Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna) (Insects (Bee))

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Propagation Method Seed, Marcotting, Air-Layering


Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower Colour(s) White

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Red, Purple, Yellow / Golden
Mature Fruit Texture(s) Smooth, Glossy / Shiny
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type 1 Fleshy Fruit
Fruit Type 2 Non-Accessory Fruit
Seed Quantity Per Fruit Few (1-5)

Image Repository



Master ID 30551
Species ID 4860
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 05 August 2022.