Psychotria ligustrifolia

Psychotria ligustrifolia (Northrop) Millsp.

Common Names: Smooth Wild Coffee

Family: Rubiaceae

Habit: Psychotria ligustrifolia grows as a medium shrub to 4 meters (typically less than 2 meters).  The leaves are arranged oppositely, lanceolate, to 16 cm long with an acute leaf apex and an entire margin. The stipules are large.

The complete, perfect, actinomorphic flowers are arranged in panicles.  The calyx has 5 fused green sepals.  The corolla has 5 white fused petals with very small 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: Psychotria ligustrifolia 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: Psychotria ligustrifolia occurs on all island groupings in the Lucayan Archipelago as well as southern Florida and the Greater Antilles.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Psychotria ligustrifolia 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 this species to be usable as a true coffee substitute.

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