Young cocoa pod

Young cocoa pod

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Caption: A young pod and flower growing from the trunk of the cocoa tree, Theobroma cacao. The pod is in fact an indehiscent drupe which takes about six months to grow and ripen. It contains between 20 and 60 beans which have long been used in making beverages, and also as currency by Central American Indians. 100 beans would buy a slave. Natural dispersal is by monkeys, squirrels, rats and other animals of the tropics of Central and South America, where the tree grows in rain forests. They break through the husks, suck off the sweet pulp and disseminate the unpalatable beans. The flowers are cauliflorous, growing straight from the trunk or from older branches.

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Keywords: botany, cocoa flower on tree, cocoa pod on tree, fruit, nature, part, parts, plant, plants, pod and flower, pod on cocoa tree, reproduction, reproductive, structure, theobroma cacao

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