- Family name: Fabaceae
- Japanese name: INAGOMAME
- English name: carob tree, algarroba bean, locust bean, St. John's bread
- Scientific name: Ceratonia siliqua
- Country of origin: Middle East
It is an evergreen tall tree with height of 12–17 m and trunk circumference of 1 m or less. The leaves grow alternately, leaflets are 2 to 3 pairs of pinnate compound leaves. There are no pores on the surface side of the leaves. Rare for family Fabaceae, many are dioecious, and in rarer cases, it has a bisexual flower system. The legume is somewhat flat and has a length of 10–30 cm, and it is leathery and does not split. It becomes dark brown when ripe. After germination, it takes 3–8 years to bloom and bear fruit. Bears fruit biennially. It has deep roots with Arbuscular mycorrhiza attached, but rhizobia are not attached. It is resistant to air pollution, grows even in low nutritive soils, has heat tolerance, xerotolerance, cold tolerance (can grow at −4°C or higher), salt tolerance, but has low moisture tolerance. It is cultivated widely in Mediterranean coastal areas with an annual precipitation of 250 mm or more, but irrigation is necessary for bearing fruit at annual precipitation of 350 mm or less. Propagation is performed by seeding, cutting, or grafting.
Since ancient Egypt, the legume has been used as beverages (e.g., juice, alcohol) and animal feed, and the trunk as wood. Pulp is used as a substitute for chocolate and coffee. Gum from seeds is used as food and for industrial use as carob syrup, thickeners, stabilizers, binders, gelling agents, and dispersant. The seed weight was used as unit of measure of jewelry (carat).
Pulp (food, beverages, medicine, animal feed), seed (food, medicine, cosmetics, film sensitive emulsion, paints, abrasives, adhesives), seed coat (tannin), leaf (animal feed), trunk/branch (firewood, lumber: cooking utensils)
Batlle, I. and J. Tous. 1997. Carob tree. Ceratonia siliqua L. Promoting the conservation and use of underutilized and neglected crops.
17. Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research, Gatersleben/International
Plant Genetic Resources Institute, Rome, Italy. (http://www.bioversityinternational.org/uploads/tx_news/Carob_tree_Ceratonia_siliqua_L._347.pdf)
Coppen, J.J.W. 1995. Gum, resins and latexes of plant origin: Non-wood
forest products 6. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Rome, Italy. 142 pp. (http://www.fao.org/docrep/v9236e/V9236e00.htm)
金川利夫．1994．ケラトニア属．塚本洋太郎（監修）．園芸植物大事典 1．pp. 828. 小学館、東京．
Return to List
〒680-0001 鳥取市浜坂1390 TEL 0857-23-3411
Copyright © 2014 Arid Land Research Center, Tottori University. All Rights Reserved.