Simpson Shadehouse - Adelaide Botanic Gardens

Simpson Shadehouse - Adelaide Botanic Gardens

28 August 2014

Ceratonia siliqua "Clifford"

Carob (Ceratonia siliqua) grows really well in South Australia's Mediterranean to arid climate. Commercial plantations as far apart as the Mid-North and the South Coast give some indication of how hardy and adaptable a tree it is in low rainfall but sometimes frosty environments. Large trees can still be found throughout South Australia in parks, older large private and school gardens, botanic gardens and the Waite Arboretum (where a particularly old tree with branches down to ground level provides a hideaway for children and romantic encounters alike!).

A member of the Legume family, Carob pods (which can be eaten raw from the tree) are harvested for "chocolate substitute" products whilst the seeds are harvested commercially to make a thickening agent.  Ceratonia siliqua is generally dioecious (meaning you need a male and a female tree) but "Clifford" is an hermaphrodite variety so it's suitable for gardens which cannot accommodate two carob trees.  This tree is quite young (planted about a year ago) but it has already flowered and is forming pods although they might not come to anything given the immaturity of the tree at present.

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