Coffea stenophylla (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Coffea stenophylla G. Don

Family: Rubiaceae

Vernacular names

  • Highland coffee, narrow-leaved coffee, stenophylla coffee (En).


Indigenous to Guinea, Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast, occasionally cultivated in West Africa; introduced into Java (Bogor) in 1896 and to Singapore in 1899. Despite having some favourable attributes, it has never been cultivated or tested in experimental plantings.


A fairly good quality coffee can be prepared from the seeds (generally referred to as coffee beans), although reports on its flavour are contradictory. The species is also used in coffee breeding.


An evergreen, densely branched shrub or small tree up to 6 m tall; branchlets glabrous, swollen at the nodes. Leaves opposite; stipules connate at base, deltoid, acute or acuminate, rarely with an awn; petiole 3-5 mm long; blade narrowly oblong-oblanceolate, (5-)8-14 cm × (0.7-)1.5-4.5 cm, long attenuate at both ends, margin entire, with glabrous domatia below. Inflorescence axillary, each axil with 1(-2) cymes on a peduncle up to 5 mm long and each with 1-2(-4) flowers (1-3(-6) flowers per axil); flower 6-8(-9)-merous; calyx minute, short-toothed; corolla white or slightly pinkish, tube widened towards the throat, 6-8 mm long, lobes ovate to oblong, 12-15 mm long; disk annular; filaments attached at about 1/3 from the base of the anther; ovary inferior, 2-locular with a single ovule per cell, style about 14 mm long, with 2 stigmas. Fruit a drupe, few per axil, globose to broadly ellipsoid or broadly ovoid, 12-13 mm × 8-10 mm, violet-black with a longitudinal groove; fruit stalk 5-8 mm long. Seed ellipsoid, 8-9 mm long. In its native environment C. stenophylla grows on hill tops, in gallery forest and in primary rain forest, at 200-700 m altitude. It comprises two well-defined genetic groups. It is immune to the leaf miner Perileucoptera coffeella . As C. stenophylla does not cross with C. arabica L., the hybrid between C. stenophylla and C. liberica Bull ex Hiern var. dewevrei (De Wild. & T. Durand) Lebrun is used as a bridge to transfer leaf miner resistance. Furthermore, C. stenophylla is used in coffee breeding because of its drought resistance. The proportion of berries to green coffee is 6-7 to 1.

Selected sources

15, 17, 19, 21, 32, 43, 63, 73.


M.S.M. Sosef