Cola acuminata, Sterculia acuminata, Cola nitida
Cola Nut, Kola, Guru Nut
Origin: West Africa
big tree, full sun, regular water, min.
A medium sized tree from 40-60ft tall. The flowers are
greenish-yellow or white and purple at the margins of the petals.
Both male and perfect flowers are produced on the same
inflorescence. The fruit is a follicle, which is corky or rough on
the surface and may be 8 inches (20 cm) in length. Cola acuminata
fruit may contain several seeds, cola nitida - just one. Cola nuts
are chewed for the stimulating effect of the alkaloids caffein and
theobrominethey contain. The cola nut is widely grown in West Africa
and has particular uses in the social life and religious customs of
the people. In Nigeria and Cameroon, four species of cola with
edible seed have been distinguished. Cola extract is what gives
their names to cola drinks. Will grow in full sun or part shade. It
is not hardy and will be injured or killed by frost. Water
regularly, as the plant thrives in wet, humid environments. The cola
nut is usually propagated by seeds but can be propagated by
Cola acuminata belongs to the family Sterculiaceae and its fruits
are harvested from the forests of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The fruits are rough, mottled and up to 8 inches long and contain
large, flat and bright red coloured seeds. Commonly known as cola
nut, this fruit is used widely for the treatment of ED. The fruits
contain about 2% catechine-caffeine (colanine), which is believed to
have a greater level of alkaloids (caffeine), thereby increasing the
stimulatory effect. They are roasted, pounded or chewed and can also
be added to drinks such as tea or milk or cereal such as porridge
. In West Africa this product is sold as a treatment for ED,
although evidence for its effectiveness is limited.