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Theobroma cacao (Cacao)

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Eudicotyledons > Core Eudicots > Rosids > Eurosid II > Order: Malvales > Family: Malvaceae

The main constituent of chocolate is cocoa, which is derived from the seeds of the tree Theobroma cacao (Cacao). Cacao originates from the Amazon rainforest in South America where it was domesticated. It is now cultivated throughout the world tropics. It has been cultivated in southern Africa but not commercially. 

Theobroma cacao (Cacao) growing in a greenhouse in the New York Botanical Gardens. Left: tree with flowers growing characteristically out of the trunk. Above: close-up of flowers on trunk. [photo H. Robertson, Iziko ]


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