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PlantFiles: Cupuaçu, Cupuasu
Theobroma grandiflorum

Family: Malvaceae (mal-VAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Theobroma (thee-OH-broh-muh) (Info)
Species: grandiflorum (gran-dih-FLOR-um) (Info)

Synonym:Bubroma grandiflorum
Synonym:Guazuma grandiflora
Synonym:Theobroma macrantha
Synonym:Theobroma silvestre

6 members have or want this plant for trade.

Edible Fruits and Nuts

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)
30-40 ft. (9-12 m)
over 40 ft. (12 m)

Unknown - Tell us

Unknown - Tell us

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Unknown - Tell us


Other details:
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us


1 positive
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Monocromatico On Nov 15, 2003, Monocromatico from Rio de Janeiro
Brazil (Zone 11) wrote:

This species has been recently on a controversial discussion about international copyrights. A japanese company copyrighted the name "cupuaçu", so the traditional producers of cupuaçu goods in the Amazonic region have to pay royalties to that company if they want to export their goods with the main ingredient ("Cupuaçu") labeled on it... like, those producers plant and produce cupuaçu since the stone age, and I bet the japaneses don´t even know what a cupuaçu looks like, so something must not be right.

Anyway, this is a South American tree, occuring specially along the equatorial area. It grows up to 15m high, but usually stays under 10m, going well under the taller trees of the rainforests. The foliage is bright green. Flowers are cream, with red marks on them, usually showing up next to the trunk and branches. The fruit is long, thick, brown, with a hard shell. Inside there´s a sweet white pulp involving the seeds, more or less like the Cocoa fruit.

The white pulp is used to make delicious sweets, jams, ice creams, juices, puddings, drinks... in Amazon, you can get fed up after a while because everything seems to be made of Cupuaçu. A kind of chocolate is also made from the seeds.

It´s hard to cultivate outside Amazon. I know only one tree here in Rio de Janeiro, and most Cupuaçu made stuff here are "imported" from there. It needs lots of heat and humidity all the year and moist, well drained organic soil. The new plants must be protected from direct sun, but mature ones can be grown under full sun - preferably, under light shade, though. I recomend trying it only because I like the fruit :^P

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