Cola acuminata Schott & Endl. Sterculiaceae. Colanut. Gooranut. Kolanut.
Tropical Africa. This tree, a native of tropical Africa, is cultivated in Brazil and the West Indies. Under the name of cola or kolla or goora-nuts, the seeds are extensively used as a sort of condiment by the natives of western and central tropical Africa and likewise by the negroes in the West Indies and Brazil. There are several varieties. Father Carli noticed them in Congo in 1667 under the name of colla. Earth says the chief article of African produce in the Kano markets is the guro or kolanut, which forms an important article of trade and which has become to the natives as necessary as coffee or tea is to us. The nuts contain the alkaloid thein. A small piece of one of their seeds is chewed before each meal as a promoter of digestion; it is also supposed to improve the flavor of anything eaten after it or, as Father Carli says, "they have a little bitterness but the water drank after makes them very sweet." This plant was introduced into Martinique about 1836. Its amylaceous seeds, of a not very agreeable taste, are much sought after by the negroes.