The flowers that give us chocolate are ridiculously hard to pollinate

A complicated reproductive system makes pollination a tough job

cacao flowers

FLOWERS FOR CHOCOLATE  Pale petals curl over a cacao flower’s male parts. Here, two developing fruits, or seedpods (top left), will eventually ripen, housing the seeds that give the world chocolate.

Tatters/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

This article is only available to Science News subscribers.

Subscribers, enter your e-mail address to access our archives.

Not a subscriber?

Science News is a nonprofit.

Support us by subscribing now.

More Stories from Science News on Plants

From the Nature Index

Paid Content