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Ceratonia siliqua
St John's Bread
Pot size: 8cm   Our online price: £4.00
You can order it as gift wrapped present (+£6.50)
the fruits has edible green, sweet flesh developing fruits in mid-Summer it can work as a hedge in hot climates - not in Britain it grows into a small tree with good longevity potted plant, ready to send out - you will receive a similar plant

Common name in French:
Caroubier
Common name in German:
Johannisbrotbaum
Other common names:
Locust Tree
Family:
Leguminosae-Papilionoideae
Origin:
East Mediterraneum

Description:

Carob is native to the eastern Mediterranean, probably the Middle East, where it has been in cultivation for at least 4000 years. The plant was well known to the ancient Greeks, who planted seeds of this plant in Greece and Italy. This plant is also called St. John's bread or locust bean because the pods were once thought to have been the "locusts" that were eaten by John the Baptist in the Wilderness. That story was apparently wrong--he ate migratory locust. Seeds were used to weight gold, hence the word "carat." Mohammed's army ate kharoub, and Arabs planted the crop in northern Africa and Spain (Moors), along with citrus (Citrus) and olives (Olea). Carob grows well anywhere that citrus is grown, and it prefers dry climates that receive more than 300mm of rainfall /year --ideal mediterranean-type climates.

The fruit of carob is a pod, technically a legume 15 to 30 centimeters in length and fairly thick and broad. Pods are borne on the old stems of the plant on short flower stalks. Interestingly, most carob trees are monoecious, with individual male and female flowers. The dark-brown pods are not only edible, but also rich in sucrose (almost 40% plus other sugars) and protein (up to 8%). Moreover, the pod has vitamin A, B vitamins, and several important minerals. They can be eaten directly by livestock, but we know carob mostly because the pods are ground into a flour that is a cocoa substitute. Although this product has a slightly different taste than chocolate, it has only one-third the calories (total 1595 calories per pound), is virtually fat-free (chocolate is half fat), is rich in pectin, is nonallergenic, has abundant protein, and has no oxalic acid, which interferes with absorption of calcium. Consequently, carob flour is widely used in health foods for chocolate-like flavouring.

Makes great patio plant (keeping it in a conservatory in Winter (or bonsai). It is only hardy in the Far South-West of England.


Plant growing type:
evergreen, slow growing
Habit:
round crowned small tree
Size when mature in m:
4-5m
Main feature (value):
leaf and fruit
Spring value:
leaf
Summer value:
leaf
Autumn value:
leaf and fruit
Winter value:
leaf and flower
Autumn coloration:
no coloration as this is an evergreen species (drops its old foliage continuously)
Flower colour:
Yellow
Fruit colour:
Brown
W i n t e r
S p r i n g
S u m m e r
A u t u m n
Dec
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Flowering period:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Fruiting period:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Drought tolerance:
high
Optimum ph:
neutral-slightly alkaline (pH 7-7,5)
Preferred location:
full sun
Where to plant:
it is not Winter hardy in Britain, so it needs to be kept in pot and frost free in Winter
Pests and diseases:
usually pest and disease free
Herbal usage:
fruits
Edibility:
fruit is edible
Toxicity to humans:
not known
Optimum growing conditions:
full sun with very moderate watering, free drainge soil

Height in cm:
5-10
Pot size:
8cm
Age in year:
1
Our online price:
£4.00

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