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Theobroma cacao also cacao tree and cocoa tree, is a small (4-8 m or 15-26 ft tall) evergreen tree in the family Sterculiaceae (alternatively Malvaceae), native to the deep tropical region of the Americas. Its seeds are used to make cocoa powder and chocolate.
There are two prominent competing hypotheses about the origins of the domestication of the originally wild Theobroma cacao tree. One is that wild examples were originally distributed from southeastern Mexico to the Amazon basin, with domestication taking place both in the Lacandon area of Mexico and in lowland South America. But recent studies of Theobroma cacao genetics seem to show that the plant originated in the Amazon and was distributed by humans throughout Central America and Mesoamerica.
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