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Inbio Tropicos

Rubiaceae: Psychotria poeppigiana

Hot Lips, Labios de Puta

Caribbean lowlands and R. B. Carara to the Osa Peninsula. All year.

This member of the coffee family (Rubiaceae) belongs to the large pan-tropical genus Psychotria, which has ca. 100 spp in Costa Rica. The genus is found in almost all habitats, but this species is restricted to very wet lowlands, primarly on the Caribbean slope. Altogether over 400 species of Rubiaceae are found in Costa Rica. Several non-native members of the family, such as Gardenia and Ixora are commonly planted for ornament, but none is as important as coffee, probably Costa Rica's most valuable export crop.

© Barry Hammel 1996