The Coffee Flower
Both the flower shoot and the fruit set of the coffee flower, the fragrance, shape and colour of which are reminiscent of jasmine, give some indication of the possible quantity of the expected coffee crop.
In big producing countries this is particularly important for the coffee price development on the market. But frost or drought can actually reduce these first estimates to absolutely nothing – and fundamentally change the purchase and sales conditions for coffee.
At its top the corolla of the coffee flower divides into five, in the case of robusta into up to seven pointed, short-stalked petals. The flower of arabica is approx. 18 mm, that of robusta approx. 30 mm long. The petals wither relatively quickly and can only be pollinated for a few hours. After three to four days the flowers drop off. At the same time the flowering period as such is comparatively long and is divided up into prebloom, main bloom and post bloom. The ovary develops into a normally two-seeded, roundish oval stone fruit with a diameter of 10 to 15 mm; the red skin of the ripe fruit surrounds the sweet, white yellowish pulp of a meaty gelatinous consistency.
The coffee plant, which is indigenous in the tropics and subtropics, usually flowers after the first showers of the rainy season, right after the dry season. An adult tree can have 30,000 to 40,000 flowers. This is the time when the flowers’ properties have to be interpreted correctly with respect to the upcoming yield