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Grow your own caffeine

 
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I need my coffee. This is not open to debate. I just need one mug within an hour of waking. I don’t need anymore and drinking the stuff after lunchtime is a 3am disaster as my monkey brain goes into overdrive.

This morning I did my first natural medicine BB and created a lovely thyme infusion. It was wonderfully refreshing and felt better for me than coffee on an empty stomach.

I’ve been on this journey for decades. I started out cooking from scratch, moving on to replacing processed foods with home made varieties. I’m now at the point where I’m experimenting with making cheese, smoking chillies for paprika and questioning every store bought product - can I grow it, can I make it?

Naturally, this morning, my mind wandered to the idea of growing my own caffeine. I know enough that growing beans anywhere other than specific areas in the tropics is a non starter. My research this morning suggested a couple of plants but the articles were written by people who clearly write articles for search engine optimisation and advertising revenue. which brings me here asking, have you grown your own caffeine? These are my parameters: I’m currently in NJ which is zone 7a but next year I’ll be moving to a 5b. However, I grow ginger and chillies outside from May to October and then overwinter them indoors. Three years from now I intend to have a semi tropical greenhouse.

I tried zero waste for a month - drove the rest of the family crazy and it was an interesting experiment, but totally unrealistic living in my suburban NJ hellscape. I then realised that reducing my waste by 80% was totally realistic and way better than just giving up. I’m close to 80% on the ‘make not buy’ food front, so maybe I should just accept that I’ll always buy beans.

Is this a road worth going down?

(Is this a gardening question or a natural medicine?)
 
Edward Norton
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Meh . . . I searched for ‘caffeine’ here and nothing came back, then when I posted I was suggested this excellent thread . . . I spent a good twenty minutes of caffeine loaded brain time writing the above. I’m assuming this was a nasty case of pebkac and should be logged with reference code id10t as I can’t spell for toffie . . . This isn’t the first or last time, I’m the first person to reply to my own questions . . .
 
Edward Norton
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And here’s Anne Millar’s awesome answer from five years ago

My first thought was Chicory since it is a coffee substitute.  And yes it grows in Indiana, so you might be able to find some growing wild.

Purdue University list of Herb, Aromatic, Medicinal, Bioactive Crops

Here are some comments when I tried to search for what plants have caffeine:

Caffeine isn't a primary compound in plants. It doesn't serve a function that a plant naturally needs to live. Therefore you will be hard pressed to find many plants that contain caffeine in the wild. Almost all caffeine comes from either seeds or leaves. Only about 100 plants contain some form of caffeine, most being minimal. Probably people with expertise locally with edible plants could help you more, I just know caffeine isn't primarily found in a lot of North American plants.

The plant with the most caffeine in North America is the Ilex vomitoria and various varieties of said. It's the North American equivalent of Yerba Mate. Don't let the name bother you. The Indians made an extra strong brew for ceremonies to induce vomiting. In every day use they made a milder brew with steamed green leaves and lightly roasted leaves. Details are on my website.

Three common commercial varieties of Ilex vomitoria are Ilex nana and Ilex schiller (female and male dwarf versions for hedging) and Ilex vomitoria var. pendula (an ornamental which if fed nitrogen has more caffeine than any plant.)

According to Jim Pojar, in his book "Plants Of The Pacific Northwest Coast," The dried ground up seeds of Scotchbroom (classified invasive in Oregon, don't know about your part of the region) can be used as a coffee substitute.

After many years at this it has been my experience that nothing is a substitute for coffee. One plant, goosegrass, hmmm, Galium aparine, comes close in flavor but no caffeine. It is in the same family as coffee, oddly, and its roasted seeds are coffeesque. Add some Ilex vomitoria leaves and you might have a famine coffee substitute with caffeine. But it ain't coffee. Close, but no cigar.

Brooms, which a non-native, are usually listed as toxic.

We used to roast barley then grind it to mix with our coffee, it lowers the caffeine and greatly reduces the price of your coffee.

My parents roasted barley during the Great Depression as a coffee substitute.

Today we buy roasted barley at the grocery store. Mix it 50/50 with coffee grounds. It costs $1.29/pound.

We have been growing mint for years, which we harvest and dry. We use mint in our teas and many cooking recipes.

This year we planted chamomile and tea-trees. So we hope to produce them both in the future.

 
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My first thought was that an Ilex would probably be your best bet - it's cool to know that there is one!

Here in the UK we have a few successful tea (Camellia sinensis, English/Chinese/Japanese tea) plantations. There is one in Cornwall, which is a warmer microclimate, and at least one in Wales too. It may be possible for you to experiment with tea as a caffeine source.
 
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There seems to be some disagreement as to whether cleavers does contain caffiene: https://www.wildwalks-southwest.co.uk/how-to-make-wild-cleaver-coffee/ Rachel Lambert says it does.
http://www.eattheweeds.com/galium-aparine-goosegrass-on-the-loose-2/ eat the weeds says it doesn't.
PFAF doesn't mention caffiene, so the jury's out at the moment.
 
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Bedstraw, also known as cleavers (Latin name Galium aparine), seeds have caffeine in them and have a nice enough flavor.   They grow as a weed in most of the US and are extremely easy to cultivate -- just box them in as you would a mint because they will spread! Galium odoratum, sweet woodruff, is better known in gardening circles but I am unaware if its seeds contain caffeine.

Seeds are shaken off the plant once dried, then you can roast and grind them like coffee. Doesn't taste exactly like coffee, but gives a nice kick to herbal tea blends and tastes well enough on its own.
 
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I'm not sure why there is conflicting info from those websites, as the components in Galium have been studied and there is caffeine in galium. I could only find one journal article that wasn't behind a paywall that listed caffeine as one of the active alkaloids in Galium aparine. Link
 
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i grow true tea (Camellia sinensis), but i suppose that would be a real challenge in zone 5. interested to learn that there are some annual sources!
 
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Nancy Reading wrote:There seems to be some disagreement as to whether cleavers does contain caffiene: https://www.wildwalks-southwest.co.uk/how-to-make-wild-cleaver-coffee/ Rachel Lambert says it does.
http://www.eattheweeds.com/galium-aparine-goosegrass-on-the-loose-2/ eat the weeds says it doesn't.
PFAF doesn't mention caffiene, so the jury's out at the moment.



The Super Foods Journal says this about cleaver: Cleavers is a member of the coffee family. Its seeds can be roasted to make a coffee alternative which only contains a small amount of caffeine. However, it takes a lot of work to harvest enough cleavers seeds to brew coffee, so generally isn’t considered worth the effort .  https://superfoodjournal.com/cleavers-galium-aparine-benefits-uses/

Coffee bush is an under story so will grow very well in a large pot that you can have outside for most of the year and bring inside in the winter.  When we lived in PNG we were living at 1500 M (5000') and coffee was one of the crops grown.  It was about 20 Deg C for most of the year with it going down to about 16 - 18 Deg C in winter.  Also. my parents grew coffee from seed on the central coast of NSW Australia and harvested about a Kg per bush.  So, in short, you can grow your own outside for most of the year in NJ, just keep it in free draining high carbon composted soil.  In winter, keep it out of the frost and snow.  And unless you want deer as high as kites stop them from eating the berries.
Cheers
 
Edward Norton
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My first thought was that an Ilex would probably be your best bet - it's cool to know that there is one!  


Thanks Luke - I’m adding that to my list of plants to grow at some point in the future. I remember reading about Cornish Tea. Didn’t know they were growing it in Wales as well - good to know. Sounds like a smart plan in these interesting times . . . Not going to mention the B word.

There seems to be some disagreement as to whether cleavers does contain caffiene:


Very interesting Nancy! Wow, endless fun flinging goosegrass as a kid. Definitely something to forage in the UK. Haven’t seen it here and I’m guessing they probably wouldn’t want it as it’s very vigorous. I’ve seen something similar though. I’ll have to research. Cheers.

Bedstraw, also known as cleavers (Latin name Galium aparine), seeds have caffeine in them and have a nice enough flavor.   They grow as a weed in most of the US and are extremely easy to cultivate


Thanks Jen - bedstraw! No research needed. I’ve definitely seen it here but not in the huge hedgerow swamping swathes I’ve seen in the UK, which is why I thought it was a different plant. I’m thinking, if it’s called bedstraw, then there must be a reason, so back to researching . . . Already thinking about it holistically and potential textile BB’s

i grow true tea (Camellia sinensis), but i suppose that would be a real challenge in zone 5. interested to learn that there are some annual sources!

I’m sure if the Brits hadn’t colonised much of Asia, and there hadn’t been a tea party in Boston, then North Carolina would be covered in tea plantations! I think they make nice house plants so definitely an option or in a future greenhouse. Thanks Greg.

And unless you want deer as high as kites stop them from eating the berries.


Ha ha! Well there’s another weed that’s now legalised in NJ so there are probably already high deer . . .  And trash pandas, bears . . .
I think in the balance, growing coffee here would just be too challenging and too much work. I’ve read plenty of accounts of people trying. Going on your parents 1kg per bush, I’d need 12 bushes for me and the misses. Cheers Paul.
 
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I put coffee up there with solar panels in that it doesn't make sense to produce your own; you buy them. I tried growing tobacco once; hardest plant I ever worked with because my climate is just no onboard with it. In my area (mountains, out west) the easy way to figure out the plants to grow is to look around at what's growing. Second best is to contact the state nursery and talk to them, but there's a lot of regional differences even inside of my ~1000 square mile zone that the nursery covers.

If you want to take a little more control of your coffee, consider buying green coffee beans, unroasted, and then roasting them yourself. The beans stay good for a long time, I think years in the right environment. I experimented with roasting them and it was a smokey nightmare, but that's probably me just not taking it seriously.

We have ephedra growing wild out here so for stimulants (and asthma treatment) we can use that, but nothjing beats a good cup of coffee.  
 
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Cleaver seeds have caffeine? I will have to roast a batch and try it. Here I thought it was just one more "eh I suppose I can throw it in a salad" weed!
 
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The Yapon Holly (Ilex vomitoria) contains caffeine, and will grow as far as zone 7.
 
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Edward Norton wrote:
Thanks Jen - bedstraw! No research needed. I’ve definitely seen it here but not in the huge hedgerow swamping swathes I’ve seen in the UK, which is why I thought it was a different plant. I’m thinking, if it’s called bedstraw, then there must be a reason, so back to researching . . . Already thinking about it holistically and potential textile BB’s



Where I come from (Southern England) Bedstraw, (Ladies, marsh, heath etc etc) And goosegrass are different plants in the bedstraw (Rubiaceae family.  They are called bedstraw because ladies bedstraw and hedge bedstraw (G. Vernum and G mollugo respectively) were extensively used as strewing herbs, they have a sweet hay like smell.  Ladies bedstraw can be used as a dye plant as well. The book I have says that woodruff G. odoratum, ladies bedstraw and goosegrass can be used interchangeably in medicine.

Yes Edward, it's horribly invasive here as well, swamps everything and will kill a lot of the things it clambers over, the cat just came in covered in the seeds again, maybe that's a viable way of collecting them! I would certainly never plant it deliberately.

K Kaba wrote: Here I thought it was just one more "eh I suppose I can throw it in a salad" weed!

You can also use it to make cheese (rennet substitute) or to stop bleeding.
 
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I have nine yaupon (ilex vomitoria) plants here in zone 6b, up to five years old, that are doing fine. They didn't look the greatest after it got to -10 last February but the damage was mostly superficial and all recovered, even the smaller ones. Yaupon makes a good caffeinated tea similar to yerba mate.
 
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I am sort of working on a pipe dream holly breeding project. I have tried growing tea plants in pots up here, but they need SO much water they always die before the cold gets a chance to do them in.
I have a guayusa plant indoors in my bedroom, that has been alive and more or less happy for 5 years, but those grow in the amazon, and I don't believe modern science has recorded them flowering except for maybe once? They have been cultivated by humans for so long that they only seem to be propagated by cuttings anymore.
So then I got to yaupon holly. I am not as big of a fan of the flavor of its tea as the previous two plants, but it seems the most realistic. I only have to make it jump two and a half zones for my marginal 4b/5a.
At first, based on an old thread on here, I was going to try to cross yaupon with winterberry, since they are both Ilex hollies that are native to north america, and it made sense. So I have 4 female winterberry bushes in my yard now, of two different varieties with early & late flowering.
I then ordered a male yaupon holly (Schilling's/Stoke's dwarf) and put it in a pot, to be the pollinator. It died in my basement over winter. So I bought two more, that were larger, and those have now survived a couple years.
Unfortunately, I haven't gotten them to flower yet in spring, and I wonder if my laziness with leaving the grow lights in my basement on the same timing all winter is making them never really experience spring to want to flower.
So then during all this, I tried to do some research on scholarly articles about Ilex hollies. I was wondering about chromosome numbers and ploidy. These are the numbers I found for some hollies I was thinking of trying to cross to make the mythical zone 4 hardy caffeine plant:

9x4 vs. 10x4
I. vomitoria - 40
I. paraguariensis - 40
I. aquifolium - 40
I. verticillata - 36
I. Opaca - 36

So this makes it look like winterberry (I. verticillata) and yaupon (I. vomitoria) wouldn't be chromosomally compatible, as they have different chromosome numbers. But that might be fine, since the more common chromosome number for hollies I can order seems to be 40.
There are of course some shenanigans that could be done if I was a botany graduate student and not tech support, like using something like colchicine to cause chromosome doubling  in a bud on both yaupon and winterberry, and so then they would go from 9x4 and 10x4 to 9x8 and 10x8, and if there was fruit set, it would have two full sets of genes from each parent, being 10x4+9x4 and going from tetraploid to octoploid (I think?). But I don't have the access to a lab or the know-how to try that.
So then, giving up on the winterberry for now as the female parent, and resigning myself to some lovely stunted looking bushes that will never set flowers without a male of their species, I have moved on to trying common holly (I. aquifolium), or more specifically, a cross-bred offspring of it the Meserve holly, or blue holly. These hollies were bred specifically to survive harsh winters, at least to zone 5.
I only planted some blue hollies this spring, so I have yet to see if they will survive winter in my zone 4/5 marginal area (would be zone 4 geographically, but the Minneapolis heat bubble keeps it warm). One of the blue hollies I planted has already flowered after being planted, so I at least don't need to worry about getting female flowers to produce berries.
Unfortunately, my caffeinated holly breeding project has not yet borne fruit, literally or figuratively. My hope is that my yaupon plants will flower this spring, and I can then do some manual pollination of the blue holly's flowers, and maybe also the winterberry just in case they're not as incompatible as it seems, since holly chromosomes aren't exactly a terribly popular area of research from what I've found.

Otherwise, I am also considering just ordering as many yaupon holly seeds as I can get my hands on, and planting them all over my yard, and seeing if anything survives winter. Because the breeding project will require any progeny that I get between yaupon & blue holly to survive winter, and then I'll have to either find a lab to send them to to be tested for caffeine, or do a caffeine assay on them myself (some google results imply it's an easy college science experiment, so maybe?). And then taking the winter-surviving, caffeine-bearing offspirng, if any exist, and seeing if any of them taste any good.

So if you wanted to have a go at doing something similar, maybe some of my planning will help.
 
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are there multible section in ilex?

as there are in other genera like: prunus, quercus, fraxinus, salix, and maple. for example.
this will affect crossability



i came across this List of Ilex hybrides
http://www.hollysocam.org/untitled/memberindex/PDF/Beyond-Galle.pdf

unfortunately there is no hybrid of ilex vomitoria listed

Beyond Galle
A compilation of cultivated Ilex
Not included in Fred Galle’s
“Hollies: The Genus Ilex”
(Timber Press, 1997)
Compiled by Jim Resch
Last updated May 2021




probabyl its best to mail the autor directli.
mabey ask someone who is a profesional ilex breeder



Eureka Gold TM 'HOGY' ilex vomitoria hardy to Zone 6

From the website of Greenleaf Nursery: "Eureka Gold(TM) is a compact, upright, and outwardly spreading Dwarf
Yaupon Holly. This dense and bushy variety has yellow green foliage. It grows 4 to 5 feet tall. " Zone 6.
(http://www.greenleafnursery.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/plants.plantDetail/plant_id/5205/index.htm ) Fruits 4-
6 mm in diameter, Red Group 42B.

hope this helps




also i was googeling "pollination of ilex vomitoria"

https://www.curenursery.com/plants/ilex-vomitoria-taylors-rudolph/#:~:text=Being%20a%20female%2C%20its%20pollination,Ilex%20opaca%20(American%20Holly).

Ilex vomitoria 'Taylor's Rudolph'
'Taylor's Dwarf' Yaupon, 'Taylor's Rudolph' Yaupon

Being a female, its pollination requirements can be met by either a male cultivar (such as ‘Schilling’s Dwarf’) or by a nearby male Ilex decidua (Possumhaw) or Ilex opaca (American Holly).




https://www.walterreeves.com/lawn-care/can-yaupon-holly-pollinate-a-sparkleberry-holly/
A: It’s not likely that yaupon holly, Ilex vomitoria, would work. It’s not very close, species-wise, to sparkleberry, Ilex ‘Sparkleberry’.

’Apollo’ is a good male holly for a female Sparkleberry(aka winterberry) but it is always possible some random holly in the neighborhood might contribute enough pollen to your Sparkleberry to make it bear the bright red berries for which it’s famous.





best regardes Patrick Barmet
 
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I wonder has anyone here actually tried making coffee from cleaver or yaupon?

Before I would go out and plant a bunch I would want to know what it tastes like.

I know for a fact the chicory tastes good and is relatively easy to roast the root then dry the root and grind it because I mix it with coffee to make coffee go farther.

I have cleaves by the hundreds but have really no desire to try them as coffee.  Picking them does not appeal to me as I would rather smoother them with cardboard.

I have been around yaupon all my life.  They have small leaves that a person would need to pick a lot of to make much coffee.

It is a nice topic to talk about.
 
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Nordern ilex containing coffein ->  yaupon Holly and other Holly



Enzyklopädie der psychoaktiven Pflanzen
Buch von Christian Rätsch


Ilex cassine                                                                                                USDA (6) 7-11
Ilex ambigua  syn. Ilex caroliniana                                                        USDA 7


Ilex glabra Ilex glabra - Kahle Winterbeere - Tintenbeere - Stechpalme USDA 3-7
Ilex perado


Ilex vomitoria
Ilex vomitoria "Eureka Gold(TM)                                                         mabey     USDA 6

Ilex vomitoria Nana - Yaupon-Stechpalme                                                 USDA 7
Ilex verticillata Afterglow Amerikanische Winterbeere Afterglow       USDA 3-7

Ilex yunnanenesis                                                                                 USDA 5-9
Ilex yunnanenesis var. ecliata
Ilex ×altaclerensis 'Camelliifolia'                                                                 USDA 7b (-14,9 bis -12,3 °C)

 
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Anne Miller wrote:I wonder has anyone here actually tried making coffee from cleaver or yaupon?

Before I would go out and plant a bunch I would want to know what it tastes like.

I know for a fact the chicory tastes good and is relatively easy to roast the root then dry the root and grind it because I mix it with coffee to make coffee go farther.

I have cleaves by the hundreds but have really no desire to try them as coffee.  Picking them does not appeal to me as I would rather smoother them with cardboard.

I have been around yaupon all my life.  They have small leaves that a person would need to pick a lot of to make much coffee.

It is a nice topic to talk about.




hi Anne Miller you inspiered me. so i bought some yaupon tee from the "yaupon brothers"

mi favourite is the lavender coconut

fire roasted and american green have a week taste. just my opinion...

but you could mix them cicory ore roasted dandelion root tea and get someting nice tasting high in coffein




if someone is looking for yupon seeds


https://store.experimentalfarmnetwork.org/search?q=yupon

Anne Miller would you also have seeds around we could do a litle plant exchange maybe

best regards Patrick Barmet
Barmetbaumpflege.ch
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You can buy guarana cuttings or seeds online and they should do well in a tropical greenhouse.  They have from two to five times more caffeine than coffee...  I used to mix it with cocoa and cayenne for a high energy drink.
 
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Bay Laurel nuts also have caffeine or a caffeine-like substance (the foraging books differ on this). When we lived in California I dried and roasted the nuts (drupes), then pounded them in a mortar and pestle and added them to some decaf. Amazing chocolatey flavor. I also put them in some of my non-caffeinated coffee substitutes, such as ramon seed (Maya nut) "coffee" and lupine coffee (popular in Germany). Enriches the flavor and definitely provides an energetic kick. I never tried brewing them by themselves, but they would probably work well mixed with dandelion and chicory root.

I buy yaupon at my local herb store and enjoy it as tea. I'm contemplating trying to grow it here to have my own caffeine, but I'm more of a tea drinker than a coffee drinker so it would probably satisfy me more than you.
 
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Yaupon Holly

https://gardeningsolutions.ifas.ufl.edu/plants/trees-and-shrubs/shrubs/yaupon-holly.html
 
pollinator
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K Kaba wrote:Cleaver seeds have caffeine? I will have to roast a batch and try it. Here I thought it was just one more "eh I suppose I can throw it in a salad" weed!


I am going to try roasting seeds and see what we get.  T'would be very unpleasant in a salad as it is like the spiky side of velcro.  We do gather bunches of it and press in the apple cider press for making a succus.   It is one of the best spring 'detox' herbs.
 
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i had camellia sinensis but like Paul mine died from under watering
sort of my fault.. at this time of year i stop watering to make the pots lighter to carry inside and down to the basement for winter
once in the basement i did not get it thoroughly re hydrated

i bought a coffee tree at the same time and it is still alive although i have had it for many years i have only had it flower and fruit twice so far
scale and mealy bug infestation ruined the one crop
the other i was able to brew a cup of my home grown coffee but i botched the roasting process
i tried doing it in a frying pan and flipping the beans a lot but still ended up with beans burnt on the outside and raw in the middle
a better way to roast on a small scale is with an air popper for popcorn... you get a good even roast
hopefully i get a crop indoors this year and i will try that
the tree is fairly happy at the moment and both times it flowered before was over the winter inside
i plan to build a subtropical greenhouse as well and i think you would get consistent production with consistent growing conditions

i would like to get tea and a few others which i killed over the years again but cant justify buying plants until the greenhouse is built

oh yeah if you do end up with scale and mealybug on youre plants a good predator is Lindorus Lophanthae
or spray distilled water with a small amount of dish soap and  10- 20% alcohol... over and over until it clears up
physical squishing first to knock the population down helps

thanks for the tips on substitutes everyone because it might be a while before i am able to produce my own

 
M. Phelps
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it might be good to pick one of the more cold hearty varieties to acquire if possible
i really liked this video on varieties of coffee

 
Jae Gruenke
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One more thing comes to mind--California coffeeberry--which I'd read *might* have caffeine-like stimulants, but this post from Hank Shaw makes it clear that, while you can make a delicious coffee substitute from the seeds, there's no caffeine. Maybe add some bay laurel?  https://honest-food.net/california-coffeeberry-edible/
 
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Well this doesn’t have caffeine, but Mormon Tea does have Ephedra in it which is a natural stimulant.

https://www.birdandhike.com/Veg/Species/Shrubs/Ephedr_vir/_Eph_vir.htm
 
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Interesting comment about tobacco. I have a tendency to grow the hardest things for some reason, at least relative to my area but also in general.

Being in Florida, tobacco has proven extremely difficult. The seeds are 1/20th the size of a mustard seed and getting them to a size of about 3 inches across has proven difficult in scorching heat. I find they don’t finish well if not started in direct sun or brought out daily.

Once they hit 6 inches across you’ve pretty much won if you water them and they don’t get eaten by pests. I failed for about a year but now I have 10 plants doing well of 4 different varieties and I do not plan to stop. It has invigorated me more than anything seeing my small row of tobacco plants. I feel like George Washington.

I also have 5 coffee trees. One is quite large to me, a small bush, the other 3 are tiny plants and the last is basically a seedling I’m trying to keep alive of Ethiopian variety.

I also got a kava kava root recently which has an intoxicating effect and partners with my cassava. Holy cow, I hated the tropics before trying to grow tropical things and now I absolutely LOVE it.

I sowed 12 cacao beans yesterday. Caffeine. Chocolate. Need I say more?
 
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Paul Haggerty wrote:I am sort of working on a pipe dream holly breeding project.....
So if you wanted to have a go at doing something similar, maybe some of my planning will help.



Hi Paul, I just saw this posting from last year. How is the project going? I have similar intentions, but for a different climate (Mediterranean Spain). So far I've been unable to find any Ilex vomitoria plants in the EU. Plenty of sources in the UK, but with BREXIT, doing trade with any of the UK nurseries or seed suppliers (or anything at all) is just too costly and cumbersome.

Have you thought of crossing I. vomitoria with I. paraguayensis? Seems at least the chromosome numbers are the same.
If you have the space you might also want to get yaupon seeds from a range of habitats and cultivars and mass-seed them so you have more to select from. Germination will be slow, so that's why you'd want enough space to leave them to their own devices.

Also the JC Raulston Arboretumin N.C: has been breeding various hollies a long time. Have you tried contacting them?
 
Anne Miller
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Erik van Lennep wrote: I have similar intentions, but for a different climate (Mediterranean Spain). So far I've been unable to find any Ilex vomitoria plants in the EU. Plenty of sources in the UK, but with BREXIT, doing trade with any of the UK nurseries or seed suppliers (or anything at all) is just too costly and cumbersome.



Since you are unable to get ilex vomitoria plants are seeds available?

Have you tried any of the other coffee substitutes?

My favorite, yerba mate seems a good one for Spain.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yerba_mate
 
Erik van Lennep
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Anne Miller wrote:

Since you are unable to get ilex vomitoria plants are seeds available?

Have you tried any of the other coffee substitutes?

My favorite, yerba mate seems a good one for Spain.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yerba_mate



I've not searched out seeds yet, as they have a fairly complicated dormancy. I'd prefer a jump-start with plants.
I have sown a few batches of yerba mate seeds, but so far, no  germination. I do know where I can purchase small plants from the Netherlands, and will probably do so in the Spring.

I agree that it might be successful here, and worth a try. From what I've read we are way too dry, and possibly a bit too cold in the winter.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained though.
 
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Anne Miller wrote:I wonder has anyone here actually tried making coffee from cleaver or yaupon?



I haven't tried to make coffee from it, but yaupon makes delicious tea.
 
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Anne Miller wrote:I wonder has anyone here actually tried making coffee from cleaver or yaupon?


I have, from cleavers. Think I posted something about it in another thread a while back, but for a quick recap: the taste is good. It's like coffee plus something else. My ex described it as "coffee with a slight addition of brown beans" and I think that's fairly accurate. I've got a bag of dried cleaver seeds that I plan to experiment with to see if I can get the taste closer to coffee, for example by soaking before roasting (essentially malting them I suppose...) but so far haven't got around to it. Once I do I'll report back.
 
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I don't know where it came from but a cleaver plant sprung up in my compost pile last season. Tenacious vine that sticks to your clothes. Saved some seeds to plant in an unused area, they are not very big.
 
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Erik van Lennep wrote:

Paul Haggerty wrote:I am sort of working on a pipe dream holly breeding project.....
So if you wanted to have a go at doing something similar, maybe some of my planning will help.



Hi Paul, I just saw this posting from last year. How is the project going? I have similar intentions, but for a different climate (Mediterranean Spain). So far I've been unable to find any Ilex vomitoria plants in the EU. Plenty of sources in the UK, but with BREXIT, doing trade with any of the UK nurseries or seed suppliers (or anything at all) is just too costly and cumbersome.

Have you thought of crossing I. vomitoria with I. paraguayensis? Seems at least the chromosome numbers are the same.
If you have the space you might also want to get yaupon seeds from a range of habitats and cultivars and mass-seed them so you have more to select from. Germination will be slow, so that's why you'd want enough space to leave them to their own devices.

Also the JC Raulston Arboretumin N.C: has been breeding various hollies a long time. Have you tried contacting them?



Where were they selling them in the U.K?  I was searching years ago and couldn't find a single genuine source just pages saying sold out and plant directories that never went anywhere.
 
Paul Haggerty
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Erik van Lennep wrote:

Paul Haggerty wrote:I am sort of working on a pipe dream holly breeding project.....
So if you wanted to have a go at doing something similar, maybe some of my planning will help.



Hi Paul, I just saw this posting from last year. How is the project going? I have similar intentions, but for a different climate (Mediterranean Spain). So far I've been unable to find any Ilex vomitoria plants in the EU. Plenty of sources in the UK, but with BREXIT, doing trade with any of the UK nurseries or seed suppliers (or anything at all) is just too costly and cumbersome.

Have you thought of crossing I. vomitoria with I. paraguayensis? Seems at least the chromosome numbers are the same.
If you have the space you might also want to get yaupon seeds from a range of habitats and cultivars and mass-seed them so you have more to select from. Germination will be slow, so that's why you'd want enough space to leave them to their own devices.

Also the JC Raulston Arboretumin N.C: has been breeding various hollies a long time. Have you tried contacting them?



I will have to look into that arboretum. So far this is how things are going:
-> My guayusa plant died
-> The Meserve hollies that I had planted did not survive winter last year (it was a very cold one here in MN)
-> My indoor (during winter) yaupon hollies have also died
-> I am not even sure if my winterberry hollies are alive honestly.

My plans going forward are to order some "Ilex verticillata 'Little Goblin® Orange' (NCIV2)" holly bushes, as from what I can tell, those appear to be tetraploid, so they may have a better ability to cross with another Ilex moreso that the normal winterberry varieties (which would potentially make sterile triploids, but if they survive winter and have caffeine, that works for me).
And of course to order some more Yaupon bushes and try not to kill them. I am just usually gone for a few weeks in November each year on a short vacation, and that combined with my normal forgetfulness seems to be too much drought to handle for them. So I might also try to setup a drip irrigation system for them in my basement ahead of time with some sort of micro-controller so that I can't kill them by forgetting about them.

Edit: had to correct the theoretically tetraploid holly's name
 
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Would anybody be able to send me some cuttings or a live plant of Yaupon (Ilex Vomitoria)

I am based in Bulgaria and it’s impossible to find these in Europe

Got some seeds coming but they can take up to two years to even germinate

Obviously I am willing to pay for this task
Preferably a wild cultivar not one of the dwarf types
 
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Jeff Steez wrote:I sowed 12 cacao beans yesterday. Caffeine. Chocolate. Need I say more?


Whenever I consider building a greenhouse I think about growing chocolate. I am jealous of those who live in a climate that allows you to just plant cacao in the ground.
 
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There’s a genus of plants called Ephedra.  I think some species contain stimulants.

One species’ common name is Mormon tea.

Mormon tea is native in western colorado, Utah, Nevada, etc,  which have alkaline soil, arid climate and cold winters.

This might be just the coffee substitute.  Roasted chicory root for flavor (and gut health) mormon tea for stimulants .  It might bear looking in to anyway.

Do some research, though, some Ephedra species may be safer than others.

Strictly Medicinal Seeds sells Ephedra plants at certain times of year and possibly seeds.

 
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