Wild coffee is a native shrub that makes a versatile addition to the landscape. The evergreen leaves are shiny and dark green.
Wild coffee (Psychotria nervosa) has interesting leaves that are about 6 inches long. The leaf veins are distinctly impressed on the upper leaf surface and you can find fine hairs on the underside of the leaves along the main mid-rib. The leaves and fruits are somewhat similar to the invasive coral ardisia (Ardisia crenata), but wild coffee grows larger and is less cold tolerant. Additionally, the leaves are opposite with entire margins, as opposed to coral ardisia’s leaves which are alternate with scalloped margins.
These shrubs reach 4 to 10 feet tall and spread 4 to 8 feet wide with a dense, rounded growth habit. When grown in heavy shade, the form may be more like a small tree with an open canopy. Cultivars of wild coffee, such as the dwarf shrub ‘Little Psycho’™ can be found in the plant trade.
Birds and other wildlife are attracted to wild coffee fruits, while the flowers are one of the nectar sources for the rare Atala butterfly found primarily in southeast Florida