Cacao and Its Relatives in South America

Nathaniel Bletter and Douglas C. Daly

in Chocolate in Mesoamerica

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print April 2009 | ISBN: 9780813029535
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813039503 | DOI:
Cacao and Its Relatives in South America

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This chapter discusses the taxonomy of all of the species of Theobrama and Herrania. Cacao belongs to the South American group of forty species of small trees closely related to the genera of Theobrama and Herrania. By looking at the classification of the cacao tree and its close relatives the Theobrama and Herrania, the diverse ecology, chemistry, and ethnobotany as well as their medicinal, edible, and psychoactive uses can be determined and appreciated.

Keywords: taxonomy; Theobrama; Herrania; cacao; cacao tree; ecology; ethnobotany; chemistry; uses

Chapter.  12433 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Prehistoric Archaeology

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