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Carob tree / St John's bread
The pods of this plant are often referred to as carob (bread of Job), and are mainly found in the Mediterranean. They have a high nutritional value and are roasted or grinded to carob powder; a valid alternative for cacao. Also, it is used in various kinds of liquors and syrups. From the seeds, locust bean gum is made, a thickening agent which is known under E-number E410 and is added to a great range of products. But where the seeds especially have become known for, is their exact weight of 0.2 grams: 1 carat. That’s why they were formerly used to weigh precious metals and gems such as gold and diamonds. Carat comes from the word kerátion, which means small horn. It refers to the pods of the tree.
The tree can easily reach a height of 15 meters in nature, but we can also keep the species as a container or garden plant at a minimum temperature of -6 degrees Celsius. The species is usually dioecious. You need at least two plants to get pods.
Briefly cover the seeds with hot water and let them soak in lukewarm water afterwards. You can sow the seeds in sowing mix and letthem germinate at 22-25 degC. Keep the soil constantly moist.
All year round
Photo 2: Nevit Delmen (CCA-3.0 Wikipedia)
Photo 3: TreesOfTheWorld.net via Flickr