Theobroma grandiflorum (Willd. ex Spreng.) K.Schum.

Last updated: 14 Dec 2016

Scientific Name

Theobroma grandiflorum (Willd. ex Spreng.) K.Schum.


Bubroma grandiflorum Willd. ex Spreng., Guazuma grandiflora (Willd. ex Spreng.) G.Don, Theobroma macrantha Bernoulli. [1]

Vernacular Name

English Cupuacu [2]
Spain Copoasú [2]
Portugal Cupuassú [2]
German Cupuacu [2]

Geographical Distributions

Theobroma grandiflorum is native to the Eastern Amazon region of Brazil. [3][4]

Botanical Description

T. grandiflorum is a member of Malvaceae family. [1]

Rarely growing to a maximum height of 20 m, T. grandiflorum typically grows to just 10-15 m in the understory of the forest in which it grows. [4]

The bark is typically dark brown to grey in color and the tree displays trichomous branching. [4]

The long, broad leaves of T. grandiflorum are alternate, ovate to lanceolate, and pubescent on the underside.  The leaves grow to be 35 cm in length and up to 10 cm in width, and are bright green on the topside and grayish on the underside.  [4]

The fruit of T. grandiflorum is large, oval, light brown and pubescent.  The fruit hangs drupe from the branches, and grows to be up to 20 cm in length. [4]


No documentation.

Chemical Constituent

Volatile extract of T. grandiflorum fruit extract has been reported to contain ethyl butyrate and hexanoate. [5]

Liquid-liquid extraction of T. grandiflorum fruit has been reported to contain ethyl butanoate, ethyl hexanoate and linalool. [6]

T. grandiflorum seed extract has been reported to contain two new sulfated flavonoid glycosides namely, theograndins I (1) and II (2). In addition, nine known flavonoid antioxidants, (+)-catechin, (-)-epicatechin, isoscutellarein 8-O-β-d-glucuronide, hypolaetin 8-O-β-d-glucuronide, quercetin 3-O-β-d-glucuronide, quercetin 3-O-β-d-glucuronide 6' '-methyl ester, quercetin, kaempferol, and isoscutellarein 8-O-β-d-glucuronide 6' '-methyl ester, were identified. [7]

The seeds of T. grandiflorum reportedly have contains theobromine, theophylline, and caffeine. [8]

The seeds of T. grandiflorum reportedly have a 62% fat content, including oleic, arachidonic, palmitic and stearic fatty acids. [9]

Plant Part Used

Fruits (pulp and seed). [7]

Traditional Use

T. grandiflorum used orally or internally to treat the infection of parasites, water retention, hypertension, bronchial disorders, fever, snakebite and malaria.  It is also used internally for fatigue, complications during pregnancy and inflammation.  Topical applications include treatment for wounds, burns, dry skin and other unspecified skin conditions. [10]

Preclinical Data


Antioxidant activity

T. grandiflorum fruit pulp contains antioxidant flavonoids similar to that found in green tea (Camellia sinensis). [7]

Anticancer activity

A flavonoid glycoside called Theograndin II found in T. grandiflorum, has been reported to have antioxidant activity as well as weak cytotoxicity in the HCT-116 and SW-480 human colon cancer cell lines. [7]


No documentation.

Clinical Data

No documentation.


No documentation.

Poisonous Management

No documentation.

Line drawing

No documentation.


  1. The Plant List. Ver1.1. Theobroma grandiflorum (Willd. ex Spreng.) K.Schum. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Mar 26; cited 2016 Dec 14]. Available from:
  2. Global Biodiversity Information Facility. Theobroma grandiflorum (Willd. ex Sprengel). [homepage on the Internet]. c2016 [cited 2016 Dec 14]. Available from:
  3. Janick J, Paull RE. The encyclopedia of fruit and nuts. Oxfordshire: CABI, 2008; p. 893.
  4. Encyclopedia of Life. Theobroma grandiflorum. [homepage on the Internet]. No date [cited 2016 Dec 14]. Available from:
  5. Franco MR, Shibamoto T. Volatile composition of some Brazilian fruits: Umbu-caja (Spondias citherea), camu-camu (Myrciaria dubia), araca-boi (Eugenia stipitata), and cupuacu (Theobroma grandiflorum). J Agric Food Chem. 2000;48(4):1263-1265.
  6. Quijano CE, Pino JA. Volatile compounds of copoazú (Theobroma grandiflorum Schumann) fruit. Food Chem. 2007;104(3):1123-1126.
  7. Yang H, Protiva P, Cui B, et al. New biactive polyphenols from Theobroma grandiflorum (“cupuacu”). J Nat Prod. 2003;66(11):1501-1504.
  8. Lo Coco F, Lanuzza F, Micali G, Cappellano G. Determination of theobromine, theophylline, and caffeine in by-products of cupuacu and caco seeds by high-performance liquid chromatography. J Chromatogr Sci. 2007;45(5):273-275.
  9. de Azevedo ABA, Kopcak U, Mohamed RS. Extraction of fat from fermented cupuacu seeds with supercritical solvents. J Supercrit Fluids. 2003;27(2):223-237.
  10. Duke JA. Duke’s handbook of medicinal plants of Latin America. Taylor and Francis, 2009; p. 413.