Garden Closed

The United States Botanic Garden (USBG) is temporarily closed to the public to reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19 coronavirus.

Whenever possible, the USBG will reschedule public programs and events originally scheduled during the closure period. Please monitor the USBG website for updates to operating status. Many resources can still be accessed online, including educational worksheets and manuals, fact sheets and more, and some of our programs will also be made available online. Find online resources at

Cacao seed pods

Cacao Pods (Theobroma cacao)
Plant Botanical Name: 
Theobroma cacao
USBG Plant Location: 
Conservatory Room Location: 
Garden Court
Light shade
Plant Moisture Requirements: 
evenly moist

Cacao pods are most famous for being the source of chocolate, and the Latin name Theobroma is derived from the Greek for "food of the gods." Each cacao pod weighs about a pound, is shaped like a football and contain between 20 and 60 lima bean-sized seeds. The pods grow close to the trunk of the cacao tree and change color as they ripen.