Tropical Cacao Tree

Tropical Cacao Tree


The Cacao tree is a small tropical plant which is originated from the rainforests of America. Due to the fact that they always grow under the tall trees in the rainforest, they can resist heavy-shade areas very well. They prefer highly moist environment and well-drained soil conditions.


The cacao tree is a deciduous tree which will lose its leaves in cold weathers. It has bright green foliage and new leaves will sprout out about 3 to 4 times a year. The newly sprout leaves have red color instead of green. This can effectively protect them from the extensive sunlight. One of its features is that they can bend horizontally for a better location for receiving sunlight in the shading areas.

Naturally, cacao trees are growing under other large trees like banana trees. It has deep and robust root system and prefers acidic and well-drained soil conditions. It is a typical tropical plant requiring a temperature above 20 degrees all around the year. It also needs constant watering to keep a high moisture level all the time. Its natural habitat is located in the lowland which is usually below 1000 meters of elevation.

One feature of the cacao tree is that the flowers and fruits will exist in the same plant at the same time. Most flowers will not be pollinated and produce fruits. It normally takes several months for a cacao fruit to ripen and only less than 1% of the total flowers can be progressed into fruits.

Attribute
Image provided By Alma Mulalic and Yann Fauché (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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