The Carob Tree can be found within the family of Fabaceae. It is a tree of medium or higher height that lives for many years. Its’ leaves are compound and alternate, they are red at a young age and, as they grow older, the colour turns into a deep green. Its’ flowers form into clusters and they have a distinctive unpleasant odour (2). The fruits are called legumes and are used as animal food, in pharmaceutics and in distillery practices. From their seeds we can extract oil that is used in the soap industry (1).
It is an evergreen, perennial tree that grows slowly and prefers areas with a lot of wind. It flowers during autumn and its’ fruits mature during the following August (2).
The Carob Tree is found in warm and dry regions, it cannot grow above 600 m altitude. Various types of soil are sufficient for this species. It cannot, however, grow in moist places and it demands rather fertile soil (2).
It is found in many Mediterranean countries, such as Turkey, Italy, Cyprus and Syria. In Greece it is most commonly found in Crete.
It is not mentioned in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (3).
Description written by Anna Theodoridou (2009)
(1) Ποντίκης Κωνσταντίνος, Ειδική Δενδροκομία, Τόμος Δεύτερος , Εκδόσεις Σταμούλης.
(2) Δρ. Γεώργιος Π. Σαρλής, Συστηματική Βοτανική, Εκδόσεις Σταμούλης.
(3) IUCN (2009) IUCN Red List of Threatened Species [online] Available:
http://www.iucnredlist.org/search [date accessed: 17/08/2009]