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Found this houseplant in a store, marketed as "assorted tropicals". It seems to resemble Coffea Arabica, but I'm not sure how to tell for sure.

Any tips in general on how to identify a plant, starting from no knowledge of where it is native?

houseplant

  • looks very much like the coffee plant – kevinsky Jan 14 '16 at 18:19
  • Thanks! Do you know any tricks to confirm? (other than the obvious - cultivate it for a few years and see if beans appear) – John Walthour Jan 14 '16 at 18:58
  • I will go look at the one we have going when I get home – kevinsky Jan 14 '16 at 20:05
  • @JohnWalthour This could potentially help you identify? coffee.stackexchange.com/questions/2206/… – jeremy Jan 14 '16 at 22:06
  • Well it certainly gives me something to try once I buy the plant :) – John Walthour Jan 15 '16 at 1:11
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I think this plant is coffea arabica or the coffee plant. Not regularly found in the "assorted" bin it does make a handsome house plant if given the right conditions. In our location in the Northern Hemisphere it requires

  • bright diffuse light
  • cool temperatures ( < 20 deg C) are better than hot
  • water thoroughly and let dry
  • this plant is sensitive to soil ph and will exhibit iron/manganese deficiency if given alkaline water. Try and maintain a soil ph of 6.5 or less or use acid plant fertilizer once in a while

Identification key points:

  • glossy leaves come to a point
  • alternate leaves
  • veins on leaves are alternate
  • raised veins on the underside of the leaf
  • new stem growth is almost flat with a subtle groove down the midline
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  • Thanks! I went back to the "assorted" bin and bought the plant, and discovered it even still has bean casings hanging onto its leaves. Makes for even more confirmation that this is Coffee. goo.gl/photos/UCBqwk2tmia1pnJv8 [deleted previous comment; fixing share link] – John Walthour Feb 5 '16 at 15:05

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