AZ Arboretums

Ceratonia siliqua

CarobCommon: Carob, St. John's bread, Locust bean
Family: Fabaceae (Leguminosae)
Origin: Native to eastern Mediterranean
Sunset Zones: 9, 13-16, 18-24
Light: Partial shade to full or reflected sun
Soil: Prefers sandy soil with good drainage
Water: Drought tolerant, but looks best with deep widely-spaced irrigation.

Used as big hedge, formal or informal. Trained as tree, dense shade tree with interesting foliage. Multi-stemmed dense shrub, broad spreading form.

Trained as tree, dense and round headed. Grows at moderate rate to 30-40 ft. tall and as wide. Will reach 20 ft. in ten years.

Leathery, very dark green leaves. Individual leaves divided into 4-10 round leaflets about 2 inches long. Male plants produce pinkish flowers in spring. Female plants produce small red flowers followed by one foot long, flattened, leathery pods. Rich in sugar, pods are milled to fine powder and sold as chocolate substitute. Fragrance is rather unpleasant.

Pods are also used as animal fodder, and are, some say, the "locusts" on which St. John the Baptist lived while preaching in the desert.