The Lily Family Liliaceae

Although the 4,550 members of this family are particularly abundant in the tropics and subtropics, they occur in almost any area that supports vegetation. The flowers are often large, and their parts are all in multiples of three, with the sepals and petals frequently resembling each other in color and form (Fig. 24.27).

In addition to many types of lilies and daffodils used widely as ornamentals, the family includes asparagus, sarsa-parilla, squill, meadow saffron, bowstring hemp, and Aloe. Sarsaparilla was at one time widely used for flavoring soft

Stern-Jansky-Bidlack: I 24. Flowering Plants and I Text I I © The McGraw-Hill

Introductory Plant Biology, Civilization Companies, 2003

Ninth Edition

Stern-Jansky-Bidlack: I 24. Flowering Plants and I Text I I © The McGraw-Hill

Introductory Plant Biology, Civilization Companies, 2003

Ninth Edition

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Coff ee an d Caff I

Among all the foods, beverages, and products provided by flowering plants, coffee (Coffea arabica) is one that millions of people, particularly Americans, have contact with every day. We take our coffee break seriously. We drink some 350 million cups of coffee daily, which is enough coffee to turn the Metrodome into a deep caffeine pool. Here are some frequently asked questions concerning coffee and caffeine. So grab a cup of coffee, pull up your favorite chair, sit down, and relax while you read about one of the world's favorite beverages.

Wh ere Does Coffee Grow?

Coffee is a small tree or shrub native to the mountains of Ethiopia but, because of its popularity as a drink, coffee was spread by traders to many tropical regions of the world. Today, Brazil and Colombia are the world's leading coffee producers. Coffee is derived from the seeds (beans) of Coffea arabica or Coffea robusta, two species of the 70 or more recognized varieties between them. The trees require tropical or subtropical climate and need about 60 to 100 inches of rain per year. They grow best at mountain elevations of 3,000 to 6,000 feet where the temperature is cool and relatively stable (68°F) because they are unable to tolerate frost. Trees start producing fruit around 3 to 5 years of age.

Botanically Speaking,

What Is a Coffee "Bean"?

In Costa Rica, the crop season begins with the first "flowering rains" that come in March or April. Flowering buds that were produced at the end of the dry season are now conditioned to flower by the gentle rains. The white, delicate flowers have little aroma and bloom for 3 days before falling off the trees. Each pollinated flower will produce one fruit, which is called a cherry because of its red color. The coffee cherry contains two seeds that are tightly packed against each other, resulting in each seed having a flat side. The coffee "beans" are actually the two seeds of each fruit. Coffee fruits change color from dark green to deep red and are handpicked when ripe (red color). Each tree is usually harvested three or four times because of the uneven maturation of fruits. A single tree can yield up to 5 to 6 pounds of fruit per year.

How Much Caffeine Does a Cup of Coffee Have?

A 7-ounce cup of coffee prepared by the drip method contains 115 to 175 milligrams of caffeine, while instant coffee contains 65 to 100 milligrams. Decaffeinated instant coffee contains 2 to 3 milligrams of caffeine.

How Much Caffeine Is in Soft Drinks?

The following table compares the caffeine content of sev eral brands of soft drinks.

Soft Drink (12-oz can)


Mountain Dew Coca-Cola Dr. Pepper Pepsi-Cola RC Cola

Caffeine Content (mg)

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