Special Closure

Due to the 58th Presidential Inauguration, the U.S. Botanic Garden will be closed January 18-21, 2017. We will reopen at 10 a.m. on January 22.

Cacao seed pods

Cacao Pods (Theobroma cacao)
Plant Botanical Name: 
Theobroma cacao
USBG Plant Location: 
Conservatory
Conservatory Room Location: 
Garden Court
Sunlight: 
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.