The secret language of coffee: flower pollination

03/22/2017
by Misha

 

Yesterday was the 1st day of spring!

Also it was the equinox/Ostara/  plus the sun entered Aries...

Nature is so wise it give us chills! Yesterday our coffee plants decided to BLOOM!

We woke up and voilà everything was full of white and smelling like sunshine. 

Now, do you know the importance of this magnificent  phenomenon? 

 

Flowering in coffee is one of the most important mechanisms in the evolutionary ladder, bringing about continuity of genetic material for future generations. The flower shoot and the fruit set of the coffee flower, its perfume, shape and color give some indication of the possible quantity of the expected coffee crop. Yes! It's a preview of how healthy and nurtured our plants are! Actually, worldwide coffee crop estimates are determined by observing the extent and intensity of blossom.

Now, coffee has two seeds within the capsule; hence it belongs to the dicot family. The advantages of a dicot plant is that it has inbuilt specialized structures, like vascular tissue in the stem and secondary wall thickening. The coffee bush has fairly well differentiated pollen and embryonic sac.

Flowering is influenced by a variety of factors both internal and external and both are dependent on each other.

At the top the corolla of the coffee flower  it divides into five stalked petals. The flower of our bean which is arabica is approx. 18 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 pre-bloom, 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. 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.

Unlike other plantation crops the coffee bush or forest as we love calling it... is very sensitive towards flowering. Artificial flowering cannot be induced at any time. A lot of effort goes into preparing the plant before floral primordia are initiated. Firstly the beans from the plant should all be harvested, followed by a REST PERIOD of fifteen days. During this time interval it is advisable to prune the bush and remove branches which are weak and unproductive. The crown region of the plant is exposed to the sun and care is taken to see that carbohydrates and photosynthates go towards bearing woods. 

 

After pollination starts, honey bees and butterflies are the primary pollinators. Wind AND MOISTURE also helps to a certain extent. Pollination takes place within five to seven hours after flower opening and then the cycle continues...

Stay tuned for more updates from this blissful harvest!

Love, Light and COFFEE!!

 

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