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Useful Tropical Plants

Theobroma grandiflorum

(Willd. ex Spreng.) K.Schum.

Malvaceae

+ Synonyms

Bubroma grandiflora Willd. ex Spreng.

Guazuma grandiflora (Spreng.) G.Don

Theobroma macrantha Bernoulli

Theobroma silvestre Spruce ex K.Schum.

Common Name: Cupuassu

Theobroma grandiflorum
Fruits - one cut open to show the flesh and seeds
Photograph by: Pedro Spoladore
Creative Commons License
Theobroma grandiflorum Theobroma grandiflorum Theobroma grandiflorum Theobroma grandiflorum Theobroma grandiflorum Theobroma grandiflorum

General Information

Cupuassu is an evergreen tree with an elongate or pyramidal crown; usually growing 6 - 10 metres tall, but occasionally reaching up to 18 metres[
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.
,
420
Title
Brazilian Trees. Volume 2. 4th Edition.
Publication
 
Author
Lorenzi. H.
Publisher
Instituto Plantarum De Estudos Da Flora; Brazil.
Year
2002
ISBN
85-86714-15-1
Description
Information on 350 species of Brazilian trees. Stunning photographs of each species, brief details on the plant, its uses and how to grow it from seed. A superb work, with the minor irritation that the translation from Portuguese is not of the best.
]. The bole can be 25 - 30cm in diameter[
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 tree is highly valued locally for its edible fruit pulp. It is often harvested from the wild and is also cultivated in Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Costa Rica, for this 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.
]. The fruit is often sold in local markets and is frequently in short supply as demand outstrips supply[
318
Title
Raintree Nutrition - Tropical Plant Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.rain-tree.com/plants.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the medicinal uses of more than two hundred rainforest plants, mainly from S. America, with basic descriptions of the plants, their other uses etc.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

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 - Amazonian Brazil.

Habitat

Rainforests, usually in areas that do not become inundated[
416
Title
Brazilian Fruits and Cultivated Exotics
Publication
 
Author
Lorenzi. H.; Bacher. L.; Lacerda. M.; Sartori. S.
Publisher
Instituto Plantarum De Estudos Da Flora LTDA; Brazil.
Year
2000
ISBN
85-867174-24-0
Description
A superb book, giving information on several hundred fruit species. Each entry has a brief description of the plant and its uses, accompanied by one to many excellent quality photographs of the fruits.
]. 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.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *  *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *  *
HabitEvergreen Tree
Height10.00 m
Growth RateMedium
PollinatorsInsects, ?Wind
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Wild

Cultivation Details

A plant of the hot, moist, lowland tropics[
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.
]. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 20 - 30°c, tolerating 16 - 40°c[
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.
]. It requires a mean annual rainfall within the range 2,000 - 8,000mm, evenly distributed throughout the year[
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.
].
Requires a position where shade is provided by taller trees[
420
Title
Brazilian Trees. Volume 2. 4th Edition.
Publication
 
Author
Lorenzi. H.
Publisher
Instituto Plantarum De Estudos Da Flora; Brazil.
Year
2002
ISBN
85-86714-15-1
Description
Information on 350 species of Brazilian trees. Stunning photographs of each species, brief details on the plant, its uses and how to grow it from seed. A superb work, with the minor irritation that the translation from Portuguese is not of the best.
]. Prefers a relatively rich, circumneutral soil[
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.
]. Prefers a pH in the range 5 - 6.5, 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 plant is not drought tolerant, being unable to withstand even short dry seasons without the protection of dense shade and local humidity[
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.
].
Freshly planted young trees usually grow away moderately well[
420
Title
Brazilian Trees. Volume 2. 4th Edition.
Publication
 
Author
Lorenzi. H.
Publisher
Instituto Plantarum De Estudos Da Flora; Brazil.
Year
2002
ISBN
85-86714-15-1
Description
Information on 350 species of Brazilian trees. Stunning photographs of each species, brief details on the plant, its uses and how to grow it from seed. A superb work, with the minor irritation that the translation from Portuguese is not of the best.
].
A seedless variety of this species exists[
416
Title
Brazilian Fruits and Cultivated Exotics
Publication
 
Author
Lorenzi. H.; Bacher. L.; Lacerda. M.; Sartori. S.
Publisher
Instituto Plantarum De Estudos Da Flora LTDA; Brazil.
Year
2000
ISBN
85-867174-24-0
Description
A superb book, giving information on several hundred fruit species. Each entry has a brief description of the plant and its uses, accompanied by one to many excellent quality photographs of the fruits.
].

Edible Uses

The fruit contains a number of large seeds surrounded by a very aromatic, succulent pulp with a slightly acidic flavour[
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.
,
416
Title
Brazilian Fruits and Cultivated Exotics
Publication
 
Author
Lorenzi. H.; Bacher. L.; Lacerda. M.; Sartori. S.
Publisher
Instituto Plantarum De Estudos Da Flora LTDA; Brazil.
Year
2000
ISBN
85-867174-24-0
Description
A superb book, giving information on several hundred fruit species. Each entry has a brief description of the plant and its uses, accompanied by one to many excellent quality photographs of the fruits.
]. This pulp can be eaten raw and is said to be delicious[
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.
]. Creamy, with an exotic flavour[
318
Title
Raintree Nutrition - Tropical Plant Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.rain-tree.com/plants.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the medicinal uses of more than two hundred rainforest plants, mainly from S. America, with basic descriptions of the plants, their other uses etc.
]. Sweetish and agreeably scented[
420
Title
Brazilian Trees. Volume 2. 4th Edition.
Publication
 
Author
Lorenzi. H.
Publisher
Instituto Plantarum De Estudos Da Flora; Brazil.
Year
2002
ISBN
85-86714-15-1
Description
Information on 350 species of Brazilian trees. Stunning photographs of each species, brief details on the plant, its uses and how to grow it from seed. A superb work, with the minor irritation that the translation from Portuguese is not of the best.
]. It is also used to make fresh juice, ice cream, jam and tarts[
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.
,
318
Title
Raintree Nutrition - Tropical Plant Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.rain-tree.com/plants.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the medicinal uses of more than two hundred rainforest plants, mainly from S. America, with basic descriptions of the plants, their other uses etc.
]. The brown fruit is 12 - 25cm long and 10 - 12cm in diameter, with the pulp occupying about a third of the space within[
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 - used as a substitute for chocolate[
420
Title
Brazilian Trees. Volume 2. 4th Edition.
Publication
 
Author
Lorenzi. H.
Publisher
Instituto Plantarum De Estudos Da Flora; Brazil.
Year
2002
ISBN
85-86714-15-1
Description
Information on 350 species of Brazilian trees. Stunning photographs of each species, brief details on the plant, its uses and how to grow it from seed. A superb work, with the minor irritation that the translation from Portuguese is not of the best.
]. The seeds have a high amount of fat and give a good cocoa butter[
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.
].

Medicinal

The plant (part not specified, but it is almost certainly the fruit or the seed[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
]) is nutritive, stimulant and tonic[
318
Title
Raintree Nutrition - Tropical Plant Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.rain-tree.com/plants.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the medicinal uses of more than two hundred rainforest plants, mainly from S. America, with basic descriptions of the plants, their other uses etc.
].
The seeds are used in the treatment of abdominal pains[
318
Title
Raintree Nutrition - Tropical Plant Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.rain-tree.com/plants.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the medicinal uses of more than two hundred rainforest plants, mainly from S. America, with basic descriptions of the plants, their other uses etc.
].
The juiced fruit is drunk to facilitate difficult births[
318
Title
Raintree Nutrition - Tropical Plant Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.rain-tree.com/plants.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the medicinal uses of more than two hundred rainforest plants, mainly from S. America, with basic descriptions of the plants, their other uses etc.
].

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.
].

Other Uses

An oil, known as cacao butter, which is solid at room temperature, is obtained from the seed. 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.
].

The wood is of medium texture, straight-grained, moderately heavy and with moderate natural durability[
420
Title
Brazilian Trees. Volume 2. 4th Edition.
Publication
 
Author
Lorenzi. H.
Publisher
Instituto Plantarum De Estudos Da Flora; Brazil.
Year
2002
ISBN
85-86714-15-1
Description
Information on 350 species of Brazilian trees. Stunning photographs of each species, brief details on the plant, its uses and how to grow it from seed. A superb work, with the minor irritation that the translation from Portuguese is not of the best.
]. It is very little used, but is suitable for cabinet making and internal cladding of buildings[
420
Title
Brazilian Trees. Volume 2. 4th Edition.
Publication
 
Author
Lorenzi. H.
Publisher
Instituto Plantarum De Estudos Da Flora; Brazil.
Year
2002
ISBN
85-86714-15-1
Description
Information on 350 species of Brazilian trees. Stunning photographs of each species, brief details on the plant, its uses and how to grow it from seed. A superb work, with the minor irritation that the translation from Portuguese is not of the best.
].

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.
]. Sow the seed as soon as it is ripe, in a semi-shaded position in individual containers[
420
Title
Brazilian Trees. Volume 2. 4th Edition.
Publication
 
Author
Lorenzi. H.
Publisher
Instituto Plantarum De Estudos Da Flora; Brazil.
Year
2002
ISBN
85-86714-15-1
Description
Information on 350 species of Brazilian trees. Stunning photographs of each species, brief details on the plant, its uses and how to grow it from seed. A superb work, with the minor irritation that the translation from Portuguese is not of the best.
]. Cover with about 15mm of soil. Germination rates of fresh seed is usually high, with sprouting taking place in 20 - 40 days[
420
Title
Brazilian Trees. Volume 2. 4th Edition.
Publication
 
Author
Lorenzi. H.
Publisher
Instituto Plantarum De Estudos Da Flora; Brazil.
Year
2002
ISBN
85-86714-15-1
Description
Information on 350 species of Brazilian trees. Stunning photographs of each species, brief details on the plant, its uses and how to grow it from seed. A superb work, with the minor irritation that the translation from Portuguese is not of the best.
]. Young plants are usually ready for planting out 5 - 6 months later[
420
Title
Brazilian Trees. Volume 2. 4th Edition.
Publication
 
Author
Lorenzi. H.
Publisher
Instituto Plantarum De Estudos Da Flora; Brazil.
Year
2002
ISBN
85-86714-15-1
Description
Information on 350 species of Brazilian trees. Stunning photographs of each species, brief details on the plant, its uses and how to grow it from seed. A superb work, with the minor irritation that the translation from Portuguese is not of the best.
].
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2024-04-20. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Theobroma+grandiflorum>

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