December 14
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Plant Species of the genus Ceratonia

Information about this genus
Name: Ceratonia
Cultivation: CULTIVATION: Only Ceratonia siliqua (the carob) is known in cultivation and was long ago spread by man through the Middle East and warmer parts of the Mediterranean region. Although it will grow in a wide range of climates, it needs a hot dry summer, a moderately wet winter and permanent deep soil moisture to produce good crops of pods. It likes a fertile well-drained soil. If only one tree can be grown it should be of a variety known to bear male and female flowers together. Propagate from seed, extracted from fresh pods and sown immediately, or from green branch cuttings planted in late summer.
Description: This genus of legumes is possibly allied to Cassia and consists of 2 species of evergreen tree native to the Arabian Peninsula and Somalia, one of them known since biblical times as a food and fodder plant. Botanists believe the genus is a relict of a tropical Asian-type rainforest that occurred over much of this region in warmer and wetter times before the Ice Ages took hold. The leaves are pinnate with large leathery leaflets and the flowers are small and unisexual in dense branched spikes that emerge from the trunk as well as from small and large branches. The sexes are variably distributed on each tree and at certain times a tree may become in effect entirely male or entirely female. The fruits are plump brownish pods with shiny seeds embedded in a sweet, floury, edible pulp.

Specie Vernacular Zone
siliqua 8?11

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