Wild life and nature of Samos, Ikaria & Fournoi

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Trees & Shrubs

Carob or Locust (Ceratonia siliqua)

Description

The carob is a flowering tree that can grow up to a height of 15 meters. This plant also has a dense, broad, spreading crown and very tall leaves. These leaves can be 10 till up to 20 centimetres long. This plant has a fruit called ‘Carob Pods’ which are brown and bean-shaped. The Carob Pods contain quite a few seeds, which are spread throughout the bean.

Habitat

This species needs places in hot, dry regions. It tolerates low temperatures until -7 degrees Celsius without frosting, reason why it is mainly found in the Mediterranean, especially in Greece where the temperatures in winter are not too low. The Carob tree is mainly cultivated, although it can still be found in the wild across the Greek fields.

Protection status

This species is “Least Concern” by the IUCN Red List.

Interesting facts

The words Carob and Carat, the latter one being a measuring scale for gold and gemstones, are derived from the same word in Arabic. Carob pods can be pulverised, and the resulting powder used as a replacement for cacao.

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