Plant of the Week Oct 27-Nov 2
Cacao (Theobroma cacao)
Posted by Nora Dahlberg
Scientific Name: Theobroma cacao
Range: Central and South America
Cool Facts: The cacao tree is an evergreen, meaning it has green leaves in all four seasons of the year, and it is closely related to okra and durian trees. The cacao tree is a cauliflory tree, meaning the seedpods grow directly on the trunk of the tree and other older, larger branches, as opposed to the tips of young branches and shoots like most other plants. The seedpods of the cacao tree are used to make cocoa products, including (but not limited to) cocoa butter, cocoa powder, and chocolate. And unlike most plants, flies pollinate the flowers of the cacao instead of bees, butterflies, or other common pollinators. The top producer of cocoa products is the Africa, particularly the Cote d’Ivoire, while the top consumers of cocoa products are Europe and North America.