Kola nut

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iKola Nut
Image:Kolanut.jpg
Kola Nut - pod and seeds
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Malvales
Family: Malvaceae
Subfamily: Sterculioideae
Genus: Cola
Schott & Endl.
Species

See text

Kola nut (Cola) is a genus of about 125 species of trees native to the tropical rainforests of Africa, classified in the family Malvaceae, subfamily Sterculioideae (or treated in the separate family Sterculiaceae). It is related to the South American genus Theobroma (Cacao). They are evergreen trees, growing to 20 m tall, with glossy ovoid leaves up to 30 cm long.

Selected species
  • Cola acuminata - Abata Cola
  • Cola anomala
  • Cola gigantea
  • Cola heterophylla
  • Cola nitida - Goro
  • Cola pachycarpa
  • Cola vera
  • Cola verticillata

[edit] Uses

Image:Koeh-190.jpg
Cola acuminata

The kola nut has a bitter flavour and caffeine content, and is chewed in many West African cultures, individually or in a group setting. It is often used ceremonially, presented to tribal chiefs or presented to guests. Chewing kola nut can ease hunger pangs. Frequent chewing of the kola nut can also lead to stained teeth. Among the urban youth of West Africa, kola nut is becoming less popular.

Kola was originally used to make cola soft drinks, though today most of these mass-produced beverages use artificial flavourings. Some exceptions are Barr's Red Kola, Harboe Original Taste Cola, Blue Sky Organic Cola, Sprecher's Puma Kola, and Cricket Cola, the latter being made from kola nuts and green tea.

Outside of Africa, some species are cultivated for their nuts in Indonesia, Brazil, Jamaica and elsewhere in the humid tropics.

[edit] References

de:Kolabäume es:Nuez de kola fr:Noix de kola ko:콜라나무 io:Kola id:Kola it:Cola acuminata ja:コーラ (植物) nl:Kolanoot pl:Kola (drzewo) pt:Noz de cola ru:Кола (растение)

Kola nut

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