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Chocolate Tree: A Natural History of Cacao.

Allen M. Young.

17 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 1560983574 / ISBN 13: 9781560983576
Published by Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington DC, 1994
From Black Cat Hill Books (Oregon City, OR, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

First Edition; First Printing indicated. Near Fine in Near Fine DJ: Both book and DJ show only very minor indications of use. Book shows very light shelf wear, but no obvious damage; the binding shows barely discernible lean, but remains perfectly secure; text clean. DJ shows only mild rubbing; mylar-protected. Overall, very close to 'As New'. NOT a Remainder, Book-Club, or Ex-Library. 8vo. 200pp., with 15 colour and some b/w photos. (Smithsonian Nature Books). Hardback with DJ. This book is very aptly titled. It is exactly a natural history of the cocoa tree, a biography of a plant. I've never read a book quite like this before- -an entire book written about the detailed life cycle, evolution, and economic uses of a single plant. Although the book covers all aspects of the cocoa tree, it does emphasize the author's research on the pollinators of the cocoa tree. It was fascinating to learn how difficult it is to cultivate this rain forest plant commercially, and the science behind why it is difficult to do so. The book is written in an academic style with many citations to the published literature on the cocoa tree. The book also includes a listing of common names and scientific names for all plants and animals mentioned in the text. Despite the academic bent, the book is written for general audiences, and is not too technical. Anyone with a deep interest in the cultivation of cocoa will be interested in this book, as well as anyone with a general interest in the botany of the tropical rainforest. Bookseller Inventory # 43911

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Chocolate Tree: A Natural History of Cacao.

Publisher: Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington DC

Publication Date: 1994

Binding: Hardcover

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Edition: First Edition; First Printing indicated.

About this title


Octavo, PP.200, Chronicles The Natural And Cultural History Of Theobroma Cacao And Explores Its Ecological Niche.

From Booklist:

Young's engaging and scholarly book examines the natural history of cacao and its transformation into a cultivated crop of ancient and modern peoples and its ecological connections to the rain forest. Young points out that cacao is among a handful of New World tropical plants that, due to the Spanish conquest of Central America in the late fifteenth century, became a bridge between two distinct spheres of humankind: Western culture and society on one hand, and the ancient and indigenous peoples of Mesoamerica on the other. The author spent a great deal of time researching cacao pollination, and concludes that successful natural pollination of cacao is linked to the ecology of the tropical rain forest, and that the ties between cacao and the rain forest bode well for the future of both economic development and biological conservation in the lowland tropics. George Cohen

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