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Useful Tropical Plants

Theobroma subincanum

Mart.

Malvaceae

+ Synonyms

Cacao guianensis Aubl.

Cacao sylvestris Aubl.

Theobroma ferruginea Bernoulli

Theobroma guianensis (Aubl.) J.G.Gmel.

Theobroma sylvestris (Aubl.) G.Don

Common Name: Cupui

Theobroma subincanum
Ripening fruit
Photograph by: Rodolfo Vásquez
Creative Commons License
Theobroma subincanum Theobroma subincanum Theobroma subincanum

General Information

Cupui is an evergreen tree with an elongate, multi-branched crown; usually growing 6 - 12 metres tall but with some specimens reaching 20 metres[
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.
,
625
Title
Brazilian Trees. Volume 3.
Publication
 
Author
Lorenzi. H.
Publisher
Instituto Plantarum De Estudos Da Flora; Brazil.
Year
2009
ISBN
85-86714-34-4
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.
,
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 bole is usually 15 - 20cm in diameter, occasionally to 30cm[
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 edible pulp is often consumed, usually in the form of juices, and greatly enjoyed within the plants native range[
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 seeds are also sometimes used for chocolate production[
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 tree is normally harvested from the wild, but it is also sometimes cultivated[
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.
,
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 fruits are often sold in local markets[
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.
].

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 - Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, French Guiana.

Habitat

An understorey plant in the rainforests, often along the sides of rivers[
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.
,
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.
]. Usually found in non-inundatable lowland, often on humus-rich soils, ascending small hills on sandy soils[
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
Height15.00 m
Growth RateSlow
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.
].
Grows best in the dappled shade of other 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.
]. 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.
].
Newly planted young trees grow away slowly[
625
Title
Brazilian Trees. Volume 3.
Publication
 
Author
Lorenzi. H.
Publisher
Instituto Plantarum De Estudos Da Flora; Brazil.
Year
2009
ISBN
85-86714-34-4
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.
].

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.
,
348
Title
Medicinal Plants of the Guianas
Publication
 
Author
DeFilipps, R. A.; Maina, S. L.; & Crepin, J.
Website
http://botany.si.edu/bdg/medicinal/index.html
Publisher
Smithsonian Museum
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A down-loadable PDF document of a book in pre-publication awaiting illustration. An excellent, if rather terse, guide to the traditional medicinal uses of the plants of the region
,
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 fruits contain a small amount of sweet, succulent pulp surrounding the seeds[
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.
]. It is often made into juices[
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.
]. Deliciously sweet, it is highly valued for juices[
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 fruit is about 10cm long and 6cm wide[
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 seed is suitable for chocolate production[
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.
,
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 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

A decoction of the crushed bark is used to expel stomach worms and to treat stomach ache and pains in the liver and upper chest[
348
Title
Medicinal Plants of the Guianas
Publication
 
Author
DeFilipps, R. A.; Maina, S. L.; & Crepin, J.
Website
http://botany.si.edu/bdg/medicinal/index.html
Publisher
Smithsonian Museum
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A down-loadable PDF document of a book in pre-publication awaiting illustration. An excellent, if rather terse, guide to the traditional medicinal uses of the plants of the region
].
The rasped inner bark, mixed with water, is used to soothe ant bites and is rubbed onto testicles that are swollen due to a hernia or other cause[
348
Title
Medicinal Plants of the Guianas
Publication
 
Author
DeFilipps, R. A.; Maina, S. L.; & Crepin, J.
Website
http://botany.si.edu/bdg/medicinal/index.html
Publisher
Smithsonian Museum
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A down-loadable PDF document of a book in pre-publication awaiting illustration. An excellent, if rather terse, guide to the traditional medicinal uses of the plants of the region
].

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 coarse-textured, straight-grained, heavy, hard to cut, with average resistance to wood-eating organisms[
625
Title
Brazilian Trees. Volume 3.
Publication
 
Author
Lorenzi. H.
Publisher
Instituto Plantarum De Estudos Da Flora; Brazil.
Year
2009
ISBN
85-86714-34-4
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 sometimes used in light construction and cabinet making and general construction[
528
Title
Indicador de Madeiras e Plantas Uteis do Brasil.
Publication
 
Author
Fonseca E. T. De
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Officinas graphicas Villas-Boas & Co.; Rio de Janeiro
Year
1922
ISBN
 
Description
Brief details of some of the uses of Brazilian plants. 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.
]. The seed is best sown as soon as it is ripe, in a semi-shaded position in individual containers[
625
Title
Brazilian Trees. Volume 3.
Publication
 
Author
Lorenzi. H.
Publisher
Instituto Plantarum De Estudos Da Flora; Brazil.
Year
2009
ISBN
85-86714-34-4
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.
]. Germination rates are usually quite low, with the seed sprouting in 20 - 30 days[
625
Title
Brazilian Trees. Volume 3.
Publication
 
Author
Lorenzi. H.
Publisher
Instituto Plantarum De Estudos Da Flora; Brazil.
Year
2009
ISBN
85-86714-34-4
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. 2024-04-23. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Theobroma+subincanum>

Comments

Mike 12th August 2015 3:06
I heard from a person who worked with tribe in jungle of Amazon that they cooked bark of tree down to ash and inhaled through nose with dried tobacco for relaxation mild intoxication. Any idea what ingredient is active in this preparation? Is it a theobromide derivative, an anticholinergic agent or other substance?

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