Ceratonia Siliqua


Evergreen tree growing to about 10 meters. Grows in maquis and in valleys, in cultivated areas and close to the rural buildings.  It is a common tree but its natural habitats are in decline.  It was used by our forefathers as fodder for their livestock.  The pods of these trees are still used to produce a carob syrup better known as ‘ġulepp tal-ħarrub’.

Compound pinnate leaves comprise 2–5 pairs of ovate, leathery leaflets, with a notched tip and slighty wavy margin.

Greenish flowers without petals, in small inflorescences carried on the older branches, appearing at the same spot year after year.  Male and female flowers usually occur on different trees.  Blooms in autumn (typically October), when the strong scent of male flowers fills the air.

Fruits are 10–20 cm long pods or locust beans forming only on female trees.

Stephen Mifsud

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