My understanding is that all higher plants, evergreens included,
replace their leaves. Having grown coffee commercially for over 20
years, I can tell you that C. arabica most certainly drops it's oldest
leaves. The floor of my orchard would be littered with them by the
time growth began in April.
e-mail to drmoore at mail.gte.net
On 24 Jul 1997 22:35:30 -0500, reikirk at ksu.edu (Bob Kirk) wrote:
> Trying to rejuvenate one from an interiorscape I work on, about four
>years old and 5' high. An excellent foliage plant (also flowers & fruits
>well) except that occasional less-than-conscientious watering, together
>with keeping it in a south window one summer, have left many of the older
>leaves looking rather sad.
> I have established that some coffee-growing areas experience a well-
>defined dry season, but so far a month in the west windows of a closed-
>for-the-summer building, daytime temps seldom <90F (32C), ventilation duct
>blowing directly above the plant, the *minimum* of water I judge necessary
>to keep it alive -- have resulted in maybe half the old leaves falling
>off, and those generally with some encouragement.
> I suppose I'll give up and hit it with ethephon, etc., but this has
>got me curious. The treatment this plant has been getting is almost
>certainly more severe than anything it would ever experience in habitat.
> Never having lived in a warm climate, it's my understanding that most
>"evergreen" plants subject to wet/dry seasons do at least eventually
>replace their leaves. Not so, or is C. arabica just some weird exception
>that falls still holding on to the first leaf it ever grew?