An evergreen shrub.
Branched tap root system
Aerial, erect, branched, cylindrical and woody.
Simple, opposite decussate, oblong, stipulate with interpetiolar stipules and unicostate reticulate venation.
Terminal or axillary dense corymbose cyme.
Bracteate, bracteolate, dichlamydeous, bisexual, complete, tetramerous, actinomorphic and epigynous.
Sepals 4, green, gamosepalous showing valvate aestivation, regular and persistent.
Petals 4, bright red or yellow or white, gamopetalous, showing twisted aestivation, hypocrateriform, corolla tube long and slender.
Stamens 4, epipetalous, attached at the throat of the corolla tube, filaments short, alternate the petals. Anthers are dithecous, basifixed, introrse and dehiscing longitudinally.
Ovary inferior, bicarpellary and syncarpous. Ovary bilocular with one ovule in each locule showing axile placentation. Style simple and filiform. Stigma bifid.
The seeds of Coffea arabica (Coffee plant) are roasted and powdered for making coffee. The stimulating effect of coffee is due to the presence of alkaloid 'caffeine'.
The drug 'quinine' obtained from the bark of Cinchona officinalis is used throughout the world in the treatment of malarial fever. The extract obtained from the fruits of Randia tinctoria possesses insecticidal and insect repellant properties.
The dyes alizarin and purpurin are obtained from the roots of Rubia tinctoria (madder). A red dye is extracted from the root and barks of Oldenlandia umbellata (Dye root). A yellow dye is obtained from the barks of Morinda angustifolia.
Timber of commercial value is obtained from Adina cordifolia (Manjakkadambu) and Morinda tinctoria (Nuna tree).
Gardenia jasminoides (cape jasmine), Ixora coccinea (Iddlipoo) and Mussaenda frondosa (Vellai madandhai) are grown in gardens.