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)