Kentucky Coffee Tree?greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
I just saw the Kentucky Coffee Tree listed on GreenDealer exotic seeds website, it sounds kind of interesting.. supposed to be a large shade tree with long leaves, pinkish in spring, green in summer, yellow in fall. Greendealer says the seeds can be roasted and eaten like nuts or made into a coffee substitute, and that the bruised foliage mixed with sweetened water will attract and kill flies. hardy in zones 4-8. Has anybody ever grown one? If so are they hard to grow and is that Coffe substitute anything like real coffee?
-- Ben (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 29, 2002
I havent heard of it but if you could either post or email me the web address for the Green dealer exotic seeds website, I would be greatful.
-- Craig (email@example.com), April 29, 2002.
We've grown a number of these trees from seed we collected. They're fairly easy to start; you have to scarify the seed first or soak in sulfuric acid for 2-4 hours for good germination. None of ours are big enough to produce seeds, so I've never tried eating the nuts, but it's a nice looking tree.
-- Katherine in Ky (KyKatherine@Yahoo.com), April 29, 2002.
We grow several thousand per year and ship to garden centers in 47 states and all of Canada. I work for a very large factory nursery. It is an interesting tree one of the few that have double compound leaves. I have tried the "coffee" maybe if real coffee wasn't available at all I'd drink it but even then it's not that great. I've never heard of the fly thing so I can't comment on it. About eight years to fruiting age. The seed does need scarification 4 hrs. in sulfuric acid or other scarifing treatment. Run them through a turkey. My reference book says the seed pod, beans, contain the alkaloid cytisine. The cytisine is broken down by roasting. Cattle have been poisoned by drinking pond water into which alot of seed pods have fallen, according to my text. The flowers are dioecious ( male and female flowers on separate plants) sometimes polygamo- dioecious( which means a tree will be predominately male or female but may have some perfect flowers as well. No seeds on male trees. Cool tree.
-- John in Mn. (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 29, 2002.
Ben, how about the actual name of this tree? Without the Latin name it is hard to be accurate. I'd like to look it up. So many plants have the same name in common that it gets confusing. Sounds interesting and pretty. LQ
-- Little Quacker (email@example.com), April 29, 2002.
Kentucky Coffee Tree (Gymnocladus dioica)
Here is a web site that tells about the tree and also has a poisons link. http://www.library.uiuc.edu/vex/toxic/kentucky/Kntcky0.htm
-- Notforprint (Not@thekeyboard.com), April 29, 2002.
For Craig and anybody else who's interested, GreenDealer's addy is www.greendealer-exotic-seeds.com, but it dosen't always work.. if it dosent try doing a google search for greendealer and it should pop right up
-- Ben (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 29, 2002.
They grow wild in Indiana and are nice trees. The wood is pretty, my wood trim in my house is made from them. It gets hard. They are related to Locust but much nicer.
-- Mel Kelly (email@example.com), April 29, 2002.
If you live in Missouri, you can get Kentucky Coffee trees in bundles of 25 (bareroot saplings - usually 1' to 3' tall when delivered) from the MO Conservation Dept. for a very small charge. Every autumn they send out a tree catalog to anyone interested. It contains lists of both native (Short-leaf Pine, Dogwood, Redbud, Hawthorne, Ash, Elm, Oak, Maple, etc.)and crop trees (like Pines and Spruce for Christmas tree production; Black Walnut and Pecan for nuts and woodlots, etc.) Sometimes it will offer more unusual trees like the KY Coffee or Pawpaws, Persimmon, etc. and it always includes a selection of "Wildlife Bundles" (generally a few native trees that are attractive to wildlife for food or shelter; plus a shrub or two and some native flowers). Anyway, all trees come in bundles of 25 for between $3 and $8 per bundle - depending on species. (The wildlife assortments are higher, but still cheap at $12; and you can specify the extra large bundles for walnuts or pecans for the higher of two prices). These trees always arrive in top notch shape from the nurseries (or you can pick them up yourself). They are an incredible bargain if you want to build a woodlot or improve for wildlife. We order and plant about 200 trees every year.
For those of you who don't live in Missouri, you might check with your state conservation depts. to see if a similar program exists. In Missouri contact at www.conservation.state.mo.us
-- Deborah Stephenson (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 03, 2002.