Ceratonia siliqua Carob, St. John’s Bread Large-sized tree
Carob is a large evergreen reaching thirty to fifty feet tall and forty feet wide with a dense branching habit. This tree has smooth, grayish bark and large, round, leathery, dark green leaflets that create a dense canopy of shade. Inconspicuous male or female flowers appear together on the same tree, but it is the female flowers that produce dark green beans that ripen into large brown, edible pods. These sugar-rich pods take almost a year to fully develop and are used as a cocoa substitute. Animals also forage on the pods. The species enjoys full sun and reflected heat and is drought tolerant, but it likes occasional irrigation, especially for pod production.
This tree is hardy to twenty-five degrees Fahrenheit; foliage is dam- aged into the low twenties. Avoid planting in low-lying areas. The tree grows anywhere that is warm enough for citrus. It requires dry, warmer climates for seed production. Carob trees are susceptible to Texas root rot, therefore, plant them in well-draining soil and fertilize annually. Use it as a large, handsome, ornamental tree for dense shade in courtyards and on the south side of a property. It is native to arid regions of Southern Europe, Western Asia, and the Middle East.