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|Theobroma cacao fruit|
Theobroma is a genus of flowering plants in the mallow family, Malvaceae, that is sometimes classified as a member of Sterculiaceae. It contains roughly 20 species of small understory trees native to the tropical forests of Central and South America. The generic name is derived from the Greek words θεος (theos), meaning "god," and βρῶμα (broma), meaning "food". It translates to "food of the gods."
Theobroma cacao, the most well known species of the genus, is used for making chocolate.
- Theobroma angustifolium DC.
- Theobroma bicolor Humb. & Bonpl. – Mocambo
- Theobroma cacao L. – Cacao
- Theobroma canumanense Pires & Froes ex Cuatrec.
- Theobroma grandiflorum (Willd. ex Spreng.) K.Schum. – Cupuaçu
- Theobroma mammosum Cuatrec. & Léon
- Theobroma microcarpum Mart.
- Theobroma obovatum Klotzsch ex Bernoulli
- Theobroma simiarum Donn.Sm.
- Theobroma speciosum Willd. ex Spreng. – Cacaui
- Theobroma stipulatum Cuatrec.
- Theobroma subincanum Mart.
- Theobroma sylvestre Mart.
Formerly placed here
- Abroma augustum (L.) L.f. (as T. augustum L.)
- Guazuma ulmifolia Lam. (as T. guazuma L.)
- Herrania albiflora Goudot (as T. albiflorum (Goudot) De Wild.)
- Herrania mariae (Mart.) Decne. ex Goudot (as T. mariae (Mart.) K. Schum.)
- Herrania purpurea (Pittier) R. E. Schult. (as T. purpureum Pittier)
Theobroma species are used as food plants by the larvae of some moths of the genus Endoclita, including E. chalybeatus, E. damor, E. hosei and E. sericeus. The larvae of another moth, Hypercompe muzina, feed exclusively on Theobroma cacao.
An active ingredient of cacao, theobromine, is named for the genus.
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