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Useful Tropical Plants

Theobroma bicolor

Humb. & Bonpl.

Malvaceae

+ Synonyms

Cacao bicolor (Bonpl.) Poir.

Theobroma ovatifolia Moc. & Sessé & DC.

Tribroma bicolor (Bonpl.) O.F.Cook

Common Name: Mocambo

Theobroma bicolor
Ripe fruit
Photograph by: Reinaldo Aguilar
Creative Commons License
Theobroma bicolor Theobroma bicolor Theobroma bicolor Theobroma bicolor Theobroma bicolor

General Information

Mocambo is a fast-growing, slender, evergreen tree with a rather narrow crown. Commonly, it is a small tree growing to a height of about 3 - 8 metres, though in high forest it can attain 25 - 30 metres
The tree is widely cultivated in Mesoamerica for its fruit[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
,
335
Title
Perennial Edible Fruits of the Tropics : an Inventory
Publication
 
Author
Martin, F. W.; Campbell, C. W.; Rubertbe, R. M.
Publisher
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service
Year
1987
ISBN
 
Description
A booklet giving terse details of almost 300 species of edible fruits, plus regional lists of Botanical and Common names for over 2,500 less well-known edible fruits of the tropics.
] and is rarely escaped from cultivation[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
]. It is usually only cultivated in small numbers wherever cacao is grown[
636
Title
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium Vol. 35
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Smithsonian Institution Press; Washington.
Year
1968
ISBN
 
Description
A treatment of the genus Theobroma and a monograph of the Humiriaceae are two of the various articles contained in this issue. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/
,
636
Title
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium Vol. 35
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Smithsonian Institution Press; Washington.
Year
1968
ISBN
 
Description
A treatment of the genus Theobroma and a monograph of the Humiriaceae are two of the various articles contained in this issue. It can be downloaded from the Internet.

Range

S. America - Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia; C. America - Panama to Mexico.

Habitat

Dense wet forests[
331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/
]. The lower tree storey of evergreen rainforests[
636
Title
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium Vol. 35
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Smithsonian Institution Press; Washington.
Year
1968
ISBN
 
Description
A treatment of the genus Theobroma and a monograph of the Humiriaceae are two of the various articles contained in this issue. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. This species is normally only seen in cultivation[
636
Title
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium Vol. 35
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Smithsonian Institution Press; Washington.
Year
1968
ISBN
 
Description
A treatment of the genus Theobroma and a monograph of the Humiriaceae are two of the various articles contained in this issue. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitEvergreen Tree
Height12.00 m
Growth RateFast
PollinatorsInsects, ?Wind
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Wild

Cultivation Details

A plant of the moist tropics, where it is found at elevations up to 900 metres. The plant can also do well in upland tropical environments[
355
Title
Rainforest Conservation Fund
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.rainforestconservation.org/data_sheets/agroforestry/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details on usage and Agroforestry notes, coupled with some good photos.
]. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 22 - 28°c, but can tolerate 10 - 35°c[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,500 - 2,000mm, but tolerates 1,100 - 2,500mm[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].
Grows in part-shade to full shade[
377
Title
Trade Winds Fruit
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.tradewindsfruit.com/index.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
The on-line catalogue of a company selling seeds. Gives descriptions, photos and uses of a very wide range of fruit and other food-producing plants plus ornamentals.
]. The plant prefers alluvial soils and tolerates minimal flooding[
355
Title
Rainforest Conservation Fund
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.rainforestconservation.org/data_sheets/agroforestry/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details on usage and Agroforestry notes, coupled with some good photos.
]. Some forms seem to be adapted to deep and prolonged flooding[
355
Title
Rainforest Conservation Fund
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.rainforestconservation.org/data_sheets/agroforestry/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details on usage and Agroforestry notes, coupled with some good photos.
]. Grows best in well-drained soil[
377
Title
Trade Winds Fruit
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.tradewindsfruit.com/index.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
The on-line catalogue of a company selling seeds. Gives descriptions, photos and uses of a very wide range of fruit and other food-producing plants plus ornamentals.
]. Prefers a pH in the range 5 - 6, tolerating 4.5 - 8.5[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].
The tree slowly increases in size as it ages, and can be very productive[
355
Title
Rainforest Conservation Fund
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.rainforestconservation.org/data_sheets/agroforestry/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details on usage and Agroforestry notes, coupled with some good photos.
].
It coppices fairly well, and can produce fruit at times when other fruits are scarce[
355
Title
Rainforest Conservation Fund
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.rainforestconservation.org/data_sheets/agroforestry/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details on usage and Agroforestry notes, coupled with some good photos.
].

Edible Uses

Fruit - raw[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
,
335
Title
Perennial Edible Fruits of the Tropics : an Inventory
Publication
 
Author
Martin, F. W.; Campbell, C. W.; Rubertbe, R. M.
Publisher
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service
Year
1987
ISBN
 
Description
A booklet giving terse details of almost 300 species of edible fruits, plus regional lists of Botanical and Common names for over 2,500 less well-known edible fruits of the tropics.
]. A pleasant, subacid flavour, though the odour is somewhat disagreeable[
335
Title
Perennial Edible Fruits of the Tropics : an Inventory
Publication
 
Author
Martin, F. W.; Campbell, C. W.; Rubertbe, R. M.
Publisher
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service
Year
1987
ISBN
 
Description
A booklet giving terse details of almost 300 species of edible fruits, plus regional lists of Botanical and Common names for over 2,500 less well-known edible fruits of the tropics.
]. It can be used to make desserts and refreshing drinks[
377
Title
Trade Winds Fruit
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.tradewindsfruit.com/index.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
The on-line catalogue of a company selling seeds. Gives descriptions, photos and uses of a very wide range of fruit and other food-producing plants plus ornamentals.
,
636
Title
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium Vol. 35
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Smithsonian Institution Press; Washington.
Year
1968
ISBN
 
Description
A treatment of the genus Theobroma and a monograph of the Humiriaceae are two of the various articles contained in this issue. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. The ellipsoid fruit is about 15 - 20cm long and 10 - 11cm in diameter[
335
Title
Perennial Edible Fruits of the Tropics : an Inventory
Publication
 
Author
Martin, F. W.; Campbell, C. W.; Rubertbe, R. M.
Publisher
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service
Year
1987
ISBN
 
Description
A booklet giving terse details of almost 300 species of edible fruits, plus regional lists of Botanical and Common names for over 2,500 less well-known edible fruits of the tropics.
].

Seed - cooked[
335
Title
Perennial Edible Fruits of the Tropics : an Inventory
Publication
 
Author
Martin, F. W.; Campbell, C. W.; Rubertbe, R. M.
Publisher
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service
Year
1987
ISBN
 
Description
A booklet giving terse details of almost 300 species of edible fruits, plus regional lists of Botanical and Common names for over 2,500 less well-known edible fruits of the tropics.
]. Roasted or cooked with other foods[
335
Title
Perennial Edible Fruits of the Tropics : an Inventory
Publication
 
Author
Martin, F. W.; Campbell, C. W.; Rubertbe, R. M.
Publisher
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service
Year
1987
ISBN
 
Description
A booklet giving terse details of almost 300 species of edible fruits, plus regional lists of Botanical and Common names for over 2,500 less well-known edible fruits of the tropics.
]. Used as a beverage[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
]. A pleasant taste[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
]. The seeds are made into cocoa powder, or are used like almonds[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
]. The seeds of species in this genus are generally a rich source of oil (around 50%), starch (around 15%) and protein (around 15%)[
636
Title
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium Vol. 35
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Smithsonian Institution Press; Washington.
Year
1968
ISBN
 
Description
A treatment of the genus Theobroma and a monograph of the Humiriaceae are two of the various articles contained in this issue. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. They also contain a volatile oil and the stimulating alkaloids caffeine and theobromine[
636
Title
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium Vol. 35
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Smithsonian Institution Press; Washington.
Year
1968
ISBN
 
Description
A treatment of the genus Theobroma and a monograph of the Humiriaceae are two of the various articles contained in this issue. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. The seeds of this species only contain a small amount of theobromine, but are a rich source of cacao butter[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
,
636
Title
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium Vol. 35
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Smithsonian Institution Press; Washington.
Year
1968
ISBN
 
Description
A treatment of the genus Theobroma and a monograph of the Humiriaceae are two of the various articles contained in this issue. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

A chocolate of inferior quality is obtained from the seeds[
636
Title
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium Vol. 35
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Smithsonian Institution Press; Washington.
Year
1968
ISBN
 
Description
A treatment of the genus Theobroma and a monograph of the Humiriaceae are two of the various articles contained in this issue. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Medicinal

Although no specific reports of medicinal use have been seen for this plant, the seed is a source of cacao powder and butter. These products have the following medicinal uses:-
Cacao powder and butter, which are obtained from the seed, are nutritive[
238
Title
Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses.
Publication
 
Author
Bown. D.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley, London.
Year
1995
ISBN
0-7513-020-31
Description
A very well presented and informative book on herbs from around the globe. Plenty in it for both the casual reader and the serious student. Just one main quibble is the silly way of having two separate entries for each plant.
]. The butter is also applied externally as an emollient[
238
Title
Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses.
Publication
 
Author
Bown. D.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley, London.
Year
1995
ISBN
0-7513-020-31
Description
A very well presented and informative book on herbs from around the globe. Plenty in it for both the casual reader and the serious student. Just one main quibble is the silly way of having two separate entries for each plant.
].
Cacao powder is taken internally in the treatment of angina and high blood pressure[
238
Title
Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses.
Publication
 
Author
Bown. D.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley, London.
Year
1995
ISBN
0-7513-020-31
Description
A very well presented and informative book on herbs from around the globe. Plenty in it for both the casual reader and the serious student. Just one main quibble is the silly way of having two separate entries for each plant.
].
Cacao butter is an excellent emollient, being applied to the skin to soothe and soften it[
238
Title
Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses.
Publication
 
Author
Bown. D.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley, London.
Year
1995
ISBN
0-7513-020-31
Description
A very well presented and informative book on herbs from around the globe. Plenty in it for both the casual reader and the serious student. Just one main quibble is the silly way of having two separate entries for each plant.
]. It is used traditionally to treat chapped skin and burns, and is also rubbed into bruises[
238
Title
Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses.
Publication
 
Author
Bown. D.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley, London.
Year
1995
ISBN
0-7513-020-31
Description
A very well presented and informative book on herbs from around the globe. Plenty in it for both the casual reader and the serious student. Just one main quibble is the silly way of having two separate entries for each plant.
]. Research has shown that it can help to counter the bacteria responsible for boils and septicaemia[
254
Title
The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants
Publication
 
Author
Chevallier. A.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley. London
Year
1996
ISBN
9-780751-303148
Description
An excellent guide to over 500 of the more well known medicinal herbs from around the world.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

This fast growing tree has a small canopy, and can be intercropped with many tree species[
355
Title
Rainforest Conservation Fund
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.rainforestconservation.org/data_sheets/agroforestry/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details on usage and Agroforestry notes, coupled with some good photos.
]. It is usually grown as an understory plant in rainforests[
377
Title
Trade Winds Fruit
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.tradewindsfruit.com/index.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
The on-line catalogue of a company selling seeds. Gives descriptions, photos and uses of a very wide range of fruit and other food-producing plants plus ornamentals.
].

Other Uses

The empty seedpods are sometimes used as containers and as pots for growing plants in[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
,
355
Title
Rainforest Conservation Fund
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.rainforestconservation.org/data_sheets/agroforestry/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details on usage and Agroforestry notes, coupled with some good photos.
,
636
Title
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium Vol. 35
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Smithsonian Institution Press; Washington.
Year
1968
ISBN
 
Description
A treatment of the genus Theobroma and a monograph of the Humiriaceae are two of the various articles contained in this issue. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

The seeds are a good source of cacao butter[
636
Title
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium Vol. 35
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Smithsonian Institution Press; Washington.
Year
1968
ISBN
 
Description
A treatment of the genus Theobroma and a monograph of the Humiriaceae are two of the various articles contained in this issue. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. In addition to being used locally as a food and medicine, cacao butter is important in the cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries[
636
Title
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium Vol. 35
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Smithsonian Institution Press; Washington.
Year
1968
ISBN
 
Description
A treatment of the genus Theobroma and a monograph of the Humiriaceae are two of the various articles contained in this issue. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Propagation

Seed - it has a very short viability, requiring high humidity and optimum temperatures to remain viable. There is no dormancy, the seed often germinating whilst still inside the pod[
636
Title
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium Vol. 35
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Smithsonian Institution Press; Washington.
Year
1968
ISBN
 
Description
A treatment of the genus Theobroma and a monograph of the Humiriaceae are two of the various articles contained in this issue. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
Grafting is not very successful because the bark heals with difficulty[
636
Title
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium Vol. 35
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Smithsonian Institution Press; Washington.
Year
1968
ISBN
 
Description
A treatment of the genus Theobroma and a monograph of the Humiriaceae are two of the various articles contained in this issue. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2019-08-23. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Theobroma+bicolor>

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