cola


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cola

or

kola,

tropical tree (genus Cola) of the family Sterculiaceae (sterculiasterculia
, common name for some members of the Sterculiaceae, a family of herbs, shrubs, and trees of tropical and subtropical regions. The most important members of the family are the cacao, source of cocoa and chocolate, and the cola, the caffeine-rich seeds of which are used
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 family), native to Africa but now grown in other tropical regions. The fruit is a pod containing seeds from which is obtained caffeinecaffeine
, odorless, slightly bitter alkaloid found in coffee, tea, kola nuts (see cola), ilex plants (the source of the Latin American drink maté), and, in small amounts, in cocoa (see cacao). It can also be prepared synthetically from uric acid.
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, an alkaloid that functions as a stimulant. Cola nuts are chewed by the local populations and are exported for commercial use in soft drinks and medicines. Colas are classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
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, class Magnoliopsida, order Malvales, family Sterculiaceae.

Cola

 

a genus of plants of the family Sterculiaceae. They are evergreen trees, measuring up to 20 m tall. The small bell-shaped flowers are gathered into panicles. The fruit is a leathery or woody aggregate follicle with four or five carpels. There are approximately 125 species in tropical Africa. Several species, including Cola nitida and C. acuminata, are cultivated in the tropics, predominantly in West Africa. Their seeds, or kola nuts, which measure approximately 3 cm in diameter, contain up to 2.5 percent caffeine and 0.05 percent theobromine. The nuts are used in medicine and to make stimulating beverages (such as Coca-Cola).

REFERENCES

Atlas lekarstvennykh rastenii SSSR. Moscow, 1962.
Bodard, M. Contribution à l’étude systématique du genre Cola en Afrique Occidentale. Dakar, 1962.

cola

[′kō·lə]
(botany)
Cola acuminata. A tree of the sterculia family (Sterculiaceae) cultivated for cola nuts, the seeds of the fruit; extract of cola nuts is used in the manufacture of soft drinks.

cola

, kola
1. either of two tropical sterculiaceous trees, Cola nitida or C. acuminata, widely cultivated in tropical regions for their seeds (see cola nut)
2. a sweet carbonated drink flavoured with cola nuts
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