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Ceratonia Siliqua is a species of flowering evergreen shrub or tree in the pea family, Fabaceae.

Images of Ceratonia Siliqua at

Ceratonia Siliqua which is commonly known as the Carob tree and St John’s-bread, is a species of flowering evergreen shrub or tree in the pea family, Fabaceae.

Overview of Ceratonia Siliqua

• It is widely cultivated for its edible legumes, and as an ornamental tree in gardens.
• The seed pod may be crushed and used as ersatz chocolate.
• It is native to the Mediterranean region including Southern Europe, Northern Africa, the larger Mediterranean islands; to the Levant and Middle-East of Western Asia into Iran; and to the Canary Islands and Macaronesia.
• The Ceratonia siliqua tree grows up to 10 metres (33 ft) tall.
• The crown is broad and semi-spherical, supported by a thick trunk with brown rough bark and sturdy branches.
• Leaves are 10 to 20 centimetres (3.9 to 7.9 in) long, alternate, pinnate, and may or may not have a terminal leaflet.
• It is frost-tolerant.
• Most carob trees are dioecious.
• The trees blossom in autumn (September–October).
• The flowers are small and numerous and spirally arranged.
• The fruit is a pod that can be elongated, compressed, straight or curved, and thickened at the sutures.
• It was a common sweetener and was used in the hieroglyph for “sweet” (nedjem).
• Dried carob fruit is traditionally eaten on the Jewish holiday of Tu Bishvat.
• Carob juice drinks are traditionally drunk during the Islamic month of Ramadan.
• It is believed to be an aphrodisiac.
• In Cyprus, carob syrup is known as Cyprus’s black gold, and is widely exported.
• Carob pods were an important source of sugar before sugarcane and sugar beets became widely available.

Growing/Caring conditions of Ceratonia Siliqua

• Carob trees thrive in zones 8 to 11.
• Temperatures below 20 degrees Fahrenheit will damage mature trees and kill off saplings.
• Plant carob trees in full sun, rocky and well draining soil.
• The soil should have a pH range between 6.2 and 8.6.
• Carob trees have deep tap roots and are drought tolerant.
• Place the seeds in a bowl of water after rubbing them with sandpaper.
• Place them until they swell to about three times their original size.
• Fresh seeds from ripe pods can be planted without the scaring or soaking process.
• Fill a 12-inch-deep pot with sterile seed-starting medium.
• This is such as vermiculite or a sterile; soil-less premixed formula designed for seed germination.
• Use a pot that has several drainage holes in the bottom.
• Make a 2-inch-deep hole in the center of the pot.
• Drop the seed into the hole and cover it with 2 inches of potting mix.
• Plant seeds in the fall or spring.
• Keep them in a greenhouse for the first year.
• Keep the soil damp but not saturated during germination and first year of growth.
• Transplant the carob sapling outside to a permanent position if the climate is suitable.
• Transplant in the the spring, one year after germination.
• In colder areas, transplant the seeds into a deep pot. Keep the tree in a greenhouse or protected area during the winter.
• Use a pot that is at least 4 feet deep to accommodate the long tap root.
• Keep the soil damp around the sapling for the first year.
• In hot dry weather, water the plant daily or every other day.
• Apply water when the top 2 to 3 inches of soil feels dry.

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