Cola sp. (Cola Nut) is a big tree native to West Africa, reaching heights of up to 20ft tall. With its bright green leaves and rough corky pods, this ethnomedical plant is appreciated for its multiple uses. The flowers are greenish-yellow or white with purple margins along the petals, and both male and perfect flowers can be found on a single inflorescence. The fruit is the Cola nut, measuring up to 8 inches in length.
Cola nuts are seed pods of the plant harvested primarily from the species Cola nitida and Cola acuminata. Cola acuminata fruit may contain several seeds, Cola nitida - just one. Cola nuts are chewed for the stimulating effect of the alkaloids contained in the nut. 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 nut with edible seed have been distinguished. These nuts are known to contain essential fats, proteins, minerals, and vitamins, making them an excellent source of many nutrients. Cola extract is what gives their names to cola drinks.
Water regularly, as the plant thrives in wet, humid environments. Grown in full sun, with regular water and in warm temperatures above 55-60F, the Cola nut tree thrives in USDA Zone 10-11. In cold regions, the Cola nut should be grown in a pot and brought indoors when temperatures dip below 55F.