Palicourea pubescens

Palicourea pubescens (Sw.) Borhidi

Synonym: Psychotria pubescens

Common Names: Hairy Wild Coffee

Family: Rubiaceae

Habit: Palicourea pubescens grows as a medium shrub to 4 meters (typically less than 2 meters).  The leaves are arranged oppositely, lanceolate, to 15 cm long with an acute leaf apex and an entire margin. The stipules are once split (bifid).

The adaxial surface has a distinct fuzzy pubescence.

The complete, perfect, actinomorphic, subsessile flowers are arranged in terminal cymes that is pubescent.  The calyx has 5 fused green sepals.  The corolla has 5 white fused petals with evident lobes.  There are 5 stamens fused to the mouth of the corolla tube.  The ovary is inferior with 2 locules and numerous seeds.  The fruit is a few seeded berry turning bright red at maturity.

Habitat: Palicourea pubescens grows as an understory shrub in Dry Broadleaf Evergreen Formation Forest/Woodland/Shrubland/Dwarf Shrublands (all coppice types) as well as in Pine Woodlands.

Distribution: Palicourea pubescens occurs on the northern Pine Island groupings in the Lucayan Archipelago as well as the Greater Antilles, the Leeward Islands, Mexico, Central America and Columbia.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Palicourea pubescens is not known to be used medicinally in the Lucayan Archipelago.

While it is related to true coffee plants there is not enough caffeine within it to be useable as a true coffee substitute.

The flowers are attractive to butterflies and the fruits are attractive to birds.