The cacao tree is a small (10’-12’) evergreen that grows best with high humidity, deep rich soil, and at least 60 inches of rain per year. Cacao prefers the lowlands below 2,000 feet. Young trees require partial shade until they are at least four feet tall and can be interplanted with bananas or palms. Cacao seed is the basis for commercial chocolate or cocoa. The tree produces football-shaped pods about 8” long directly on the trunk and branches. They are ready to pick when the skin turns either red or yellow (depending on variety). Inside are large numerous (20 to 50) seeds covered with a white fruity pulp.