September 27, 1862, Mobile Register and Advertiser (Alabama)
Messrs. Editors: Will you please warn persons who might try to gather wild coffee without knowing it, not to mistake for the same the wild indigo, or Cassia Tora, which has the active properties of senna, and in large doses might prove poisonous.
The Cassia Occidentalis, or wild coffee, has a lance-shaped leaf, ending in a sharp point, its pods are wide and flat, and its seeds flat and small. This is the good kind.
The Cassia Tora, or wild indigo, has an egg-shaped leaf with a round end, its seeds peculiarly shaped, larger than the good kind and of a bronze color. Mr. Desportes, the person who first introduced its use here, could, I believe, supply some prepared coffee to the curious.
J. J. Delchamps.
As there is danger of the wild coffee plant being mistaken for the wild indigo, and we are credibly informed that such mistakes have been made with serious results, our advice is to let it alone. Better to go without coffee, or any substitute for it, than to run any risk of getting poisoned..—Eds.