Carob, St. John's Bread
Ceratonia siliqua

Family: Caesalpiniaceae (ses-al-pin-ee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Ceratonia (ser-ah-TOH-nee-uh) (Info)
Species: siliqua (SIL-ly-kwah) (Info)

Category:

Trees

Height:

30-40 ft. (9-12 m)

Spacing:

30-40 ft. (9-12 m)

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade

Danger:

Pollen may cause allergic reaction

Bloom Color:

Red

Bloom Time:

Unknown - Tell us

Foliage:

Evergreen

Other details:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Non-patented

Propagation Methods:

From seed; germinate in a damp paper towel

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

Regional

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

,

Anthem, Arizona

Maricopa, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona (2 reports)

Alameda, California

Fresno, California

Pasadena, California

San Diego, California

San Francisco, California

Lecanto, Florida

Wesson, Mississippi

Las Vegas, Nevada

Plano, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:

5
positives
4
neutrals
0
negatives
RatingContent
Positive

On Nov 11, 2013, superbloaf from Fresno, CA wrote:

This tree forms a very dense mass of dark green foliage. Great for a large privacy screen. Great background for palms and other tropicals. While some complain about the odor of the male flowers, The bloom Season is relatively short, and the seed pods of the female trees can be unsightly and cause many sprouting trees. It shows some leaf burn with prolonged temperatures below 25 and drops most of its leaves around 20 F but has always recovered here. Would not recommend it for areas where roots can be a problems. give it some space.

Neutral

On Dec 3, 2010, a_griebel from Phoenix, AZ wrote:

If you plant one, be sure to get a female. The flowers on the male trees have a very foul odor that can be smelled a couple homes in each direction.

Positive

On Aug 10, 2009, allalla from Mahdia
Tunisia wrote:

Carob is an interesting tree in North Africa. At maturity the black fruit is grinded, mixed with feed an given to animals. Boiled for one hour with dryed figues its juice is given to mothers for a week just after the birth of a baby, it helps a lot the baby & the mother.

Positive

On Mar 16, 2009, seedpicker_TX from (Taylor) Plano, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Years ago a seed trading friend sent me a whole carob pod. I couldn't stop eating it!, lol...I removed the seeds and planted them. They got off to a slow start, then after about three years, sped up!

We usually brought this huge potted tree in the greenhouse every year, here in zone 8a in Texas, but this year, didn't get it in there in time. I was amazed to find it survived the winter, and didn't even go deciduous! The leaves turned a little weird and wrinkled, but then it recovered. It is March, and the new leaves are pushing out, and the old leaves are plumping back up. Tough tree!

Reading up on it, it appears they take 15 years from seed, to fruit. Typically you must have a male and female plant, although some trees are hermaphrodite. The male flowe... read more

Neutral

On Apr 17, 2006, Gustichock from Tandil
Argentina (Zone 10b) wrote:

Flowers stink! I can't stand their odor!
Well trained (trimmed) it can look really nice!
It's easy to grow from seed but it doesn't tolerate transplantation well.

Positive

On May 2, 2005, slgrowers from N. Mississippi, MS (Zone 8a) wrote:

I have grown a lot of these from seed. I have a greenhouse or they probably would not make it through our winter even in a zone eight. The seeds I use are collected by a relative in Arizona - I let the pods dry and then remove the seeds. No stratifying. Scarification is simple - soak overnight in warm water (dish of water on gro-mat).

Positive

On Apr 23, 2005, DawnRain from Bartow, FL wrote:

I have found this plant very easy to grow, but growth is slow. It is very sad to have grown your plant for a few years, see the first blooms and have deer/cows eat it to the ground overnight because the gate was open. It will take a light frost. I think it is hardy in the warmer parts of zone 9. And it also makes a very pretty houseplant. The leaves are unusual and new leaves are red. The blooms are also red, but small.

Neutral

On Apr 22, 2005, careyjane from Rabat
Morocco wrote:

This tree is used as a street tree in many Moroccan cities. It's thick leaves seem to resist pollution.

Neutral

On Apr 10, 2003, scott1 wrote:

Note: it is the dried seed-pods and not the seeds themselves which are ground for carob powder.