Theobroma cacao L.

Cacao, Cocoa

Family: Malvaceae

Genus: Theobroma

Category: Tree - Deciduous

Zones: Tropical

Size: To 25' tall

Exposure: Filtered Sun, Part Shade


Understory tree. Bright green lance-shaped leaves, alternate. Reddish flowers followed by yellow-red fruit. The pulp of the fruit is white and contains capsules with 25 seeds in each. The seeds rattle in the capsules and only remain fertile when in the capsule.


Published in Sp. Pl. 2: 782 in 1753. Reference is made to Catesby's Natural History Appendix Plate 6.

Native to South America.

Sources of Information

© 2010-12 Lisa J. Miner