This tree is the principle source of cocoa, grown throughout the wet lowland tropics. After fermentation and roasting, the seeds yield the cocoa and chocolate of commerce. Flowers and fruits are born on the woody trunks and limbs.

    Wildlife Facts
    Common Name:
    Chocolate Tree
    Scientific Name:
    Theobroma cacao
    Central and South America
    • White
    Fun Facts:
    • Its botanical name means "food of the gods".
    • Maya and Aztec peoples used cocoa in their ritual beverages.
    • Chocolate beans were once used as currency. Only the most wealthy could afford to eat or drink chocolate.
    Plant Type:
    • Tree
    Endangered Status
    Endangered Status
    • Extinct in Wild (EW)
    • Critically Endangered (CR)
    • Endangered (EN)
    • Vulnerable (VU)
    • Near Threatened (NT)
    • Least Concern (LC)
    • Not Evaluated (NE)
    Hardiness Zones

    The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map is the standard by which gardeners and growers can determine which plants are most likely to thrive at a location. The map is based on the average annual minimum winter temperature, divided into 10-degree F zones.

    USDA Hardiness Zones

    11a (40 °F to 45 °F)

    11b (45 °F to 50 °F)

    12a (50 °F to 55 °F)

    12b (55 °F to 60 °F)