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Project Name Data (Last Modified On 1/29/2013)
 

Flora Data (Last Modified On 1/29/2013)
Genus THEOBROMA L.
Contributor JOSER CUATRECASAS
PlaceOfPublication Sp. PI. 782. 1753
Reference Cuatrecasas, Contr. U. S. Nat. Herb. 35: 449. 1964.
Synonym Cacao Mill., Gard. Dict. Abridg. ed. 4. 1754. Tribroma Cook, Jour. Wash. Acad. Sci. 5: 288. 1915.
Description Trees with primary branching 3- or 5-verticillate; further branching alternate; apical growth of the stem limited to the production of a whorl (jorquette) of 3-5 spreading, verticillate branches; continuing growth of the stem sympodial, by ad- ventitious, subterminal shoots (below jorquette) (called chupons) or by pseudo-- apical shoots (above jorquette) from buds axillary to the terminal verticillate branches. Leaves simple, long-petiolate and varied in phyllotaxy on the primary stem, short-petiolate and distichous on the lateral branches, penninerved or sub- palmatinerved, persistent, coriaceous or subcoriaceous; pluricellular trichomes usually as stellate hairs, rarely simple, sometimes glandular hairs. Inflorescences dichasial or monochasial, axillary or on reduced, tuberculiform branchlets on trunk and larger branches; pedicels articulate to bracteate peduncles. Flowers her- maphrodite; sepals 5, almost free and spreading or more or less united; petals 5, contorted, each one strangulated in 2 halves; lower part, corresponding to the claw, rigid and strongly veined with the shape of a hood; upper part a flat lamina, articu- lated to the inflexed apex of the claw; androecium in 2 whorls, united at base; outer whorl with 5 sterile, petaloid or linear staminodes opposite to the sepals; inner whorl with 5 fertile stamens opposite to the petals, the filaments short, shortly 2- to 3-branched, each branch with one anther; anthers hidden inside the petal- hoods, bithecate, the thecae unilocular and longitudinally dehiscent; pollen grains 3-colporate, peritreme, suboblate; gynoecium 5-carpellar, the ovary ovoid, pentag- onal, 5-celled with axile placentation; ovules many, in two rows, anatropous with two integuments and dorsal raphe; styles 5, free or more or less united, filiform; stigmas apical, short, acute. Fruit large, subbaccate or subdrupaceous, indehiscent, the pericarp fleshy or hard and partly woody or coriaceous, the vascular axis thin and vanishing; seeds usually in 5 rows, each seed surrounded by a thick, fibrosc, pulpy tissue filling the cavity at maturity, ovoid, ellipsoid or amygdaloid, the epi- sperm double, thick, subcoriaceous, the other layer with a trichomatic and gelat- inous epiderm developing into a thick, pulpy envelope; embryo straight; cotyledons thick, strongly plicate-corrugate; endosperm reduced to a filmy membrane covering the cotyledons; germination epigeous or hypogeous.
Habit Trees
Distribution A neotropical genus of 22 species of small or medium-sized trees, many of them endemics, usually growing in the tropical rain forests.
Note Theobroma is important as a source of cacao beans which are produced mainly by one species, widely cultivated, T. Cacao. In Panama five species are known to be found at present.
Key a. Leaves glabrous or puberulous beneath; jorquette 5-branched; petal-laminae stipitate, yellowish; staminodes narrowly subulate, red or purplish; stamens 2-antheriferous; fruit globose to fusiform and acute, more or less pentagonal or decagonal, glabrous, with carnose, relatively thick pericarp; flowers on trunk and on branches; growth below jorquette -.................... 3. T. CACAO aa. Leaves densely stellate-tomentose beneath; jorquette 3-branched. b. Leaves apparently glabrous and shining beneath, the indumentum, ho- motrichous, extremely minute and appressed in the areolae; inflorescences on trunk; petal-laminae sessile, crimson; staminodes lanceolate or subulate, purplish-red; stamens 2-antheriferous; fruit ellipsoid-oblong, more or less obtusely pentagonal, 15-20 x 6-7.5 cm., coriaceous; growth below jorquette -... ........... 2. T. BERNOULLII bb. Leaves clearly tomentose beneath; inflorescences on branches. c. Leaves elliptic-ovate or oblong-ovate, the lower surface silvery-green- ish or cinereous, covered with a dense layer of uniform, stellate hairs; petal-laminae subsessile, red, brownish-red or purplish; staminodes linear-oblong, obtuse or subacute, brownish-red; stamens 2-antherif- erous; fruit ellipsoid, 15-20 x 9-12 cm., with a thick-woody, strongly costate-reticulate and lacunose pericarp; growth below jorquette.....3. T. BICOLOR cc. Leaves obovate-oblong, elliptic-oblong or oblanceolate, heterotrichous beneath with dense, minute, whitish, stellate hairs and large, ochra- ceous or ferruginous, stellate hairs on the nerves; petal-laminae stipi- tate; staminodes oblong-obovate; stamens 3-antheriferous; pericarp coriaceous; growth above jorquette. d. Petal-laminae and staminodes yellow; fruit oblong-ellipsoid or ovoid-ellipsoid, umbilicate and 5-costate at base, slightly attenu- ate at apex, 10-18 x 6-9 cm., tuberculate-rugose; leaves cinereous beneath, the nerves with large, ochraceous, stellate hairs, these with long, spreading rays ..................- 4. T. ANGUSTIFOLIUM dd. Petal-laminae and staminodes brownish-red; fruit ellipsoid, rounded at both ends, about 7 x 4 cm., smooth; leaves cinereous beneath, the nerves with thick, ferruginous, stellate hairs, these with short rays -......................... 5. T. HYLAEUM
 
 
 
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