Theobroma is a genus of about 20 species in the family Sterculiaceae or sometimes classified as Malvaceae. They are small understory trees native to the tropical forests of Central and South America. The scientific name translates to "food of the gods".

Selected species


Several species of Theobroma produce edible seeds, notably Cacao, Cupuaçu, and Mocambo. Cacao is commercially valued as the source of cocoa and chocolate.

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 larva of another moth, Hypercompe muzina, feeds exclusively on Theobroma cacao.

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