SelecTree: Tree Detail
Photo Locations: Palo Alto, CA, Cal Poly Campus - San Luis Obispo, CA and Santa Barbara City College
The drought-tolerant tree has pairs of nearly round leaflets and shiny, lavender-brown,
flattened legumes, found only on female trees. The fruits, which have a pulpy texture on the inside (similar to tamarind), are high in sugar and protein. The seeds, which are exceptionally uniform in size and weight (about 5 seeds per gram), were the original jeweler’s carat weight. The fruit is processed into flour that is used as a chocolate substitute in candy and baked goods, as well as a stabilizer and texturing agent in many cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and processed foods. Ceratonia siliqua has a HPWRA (Hawaii Pacific Weed Risk Assessment) score of 0 (Low Risk).
Has Unpleasant Flower and Pollen fragrance.
Native to Mediterranean.
Trees may be referred to as male or female.
A Ceratonia siliqua in Los Angeles is registered as a California Big Tree. It measures 52 feet high, with a trunk circumference of 185 inches and a crown spread of 62 feet.
Additional Common Names
CAROB TREE, ST. JOHN'S BREAD
Spreading with a Low Canopy.
Rounded or Umbrella Shape.
Has Evergreen foliage.
Height: 30 - 40 feet.
Width: 30 - 40 feet.
Growth Rate: 24 Inches per Year.
Longevity Greater than 150 years.
Leaves Pinnately Compound Even, Glossy Dark Green, No Change, Evergreen.
Unpleasant Flower Fragrance. Red. Flowers in Spring. Has either male or female flowers (dioecious). Trees may be sold as male or female.
Prolific, Brown Pod, Very Large (Over 3.00 inches), fruiting in Summer or Fall Edible.
Bark Dark Brown, Scaly.
Shading Capacity Rated as Very Dense in Leaf.
Litter Issue is Dry Fruit.
Tree Site Conditions & Constraints
Sunset Zones 9, 13 - 16 and 18 - 24; H1, H2.
USDA Hardiness Zones 9 - 11.
Exposure Full Sun to Partial Shade.
Moist to Dry Soil.
Clay, Loam or Sand Texture.
Slightly Acidic to Highly Alkaline Soil pH.
Salinity Tolerance is Moderate Inland and Good on Coast.
Seaside Tolerance is Good in Mild Zone and Medium in Moderate Zone.
Pests & Disease Information
Susceptible to Armillaria and Root Rot.
Health, Safety & Environmental Concerns
Branch Strength Rated as Medium.
Root Damage Potential Rated as High.
None Known Health Hazard.
Biogenic Emissions considered Moderate.
Fire Resistance is Favorable.
Special Uses & Values
Cite this tree:
SelecTree. "Ceratonia siliqua Tree Record." 1995-2020. Apr 6, 2020.
< https://selectree.calpoly.edu/tree-detail/ceratonia-siliqua >
SelecTree Nursery Connection Map
Cal Poly / ESRI