Sunday, May 1, 2016

Carob delight

I love it when I go into the garden, and get a surprise - something I wasn't quite expecting. Such was my surprise, when I ventured near the compost yesterday, and found our Carob tree, doing something amazing!


Surprise!


It was flowering for the first time! This Carob tree, has been in the ground the same amount of time as our Brazilian Cherry. So about 4-5 years. Normally, Carob requires both a male and female tree, like Paw paw, in order to reproduce. However, this variety of Carob tree (Clifford) was sold as the hermaphrodite variety, meaning its capable of self pollination.

I'm happy to report this claim is 100% correct. Not only are the flowers a sickly sweet smell (attracting all the native bees and ants around) but its also producing...


Spot me!


Carob fruit!! Which quite surprised me again, because it was easily camouflaged by the green foliage. I noticed the flowers first, and nearly jumped for joy after spotting the well developed pod.

The carob tree is reputed as being hardy, and I can testify to that claim too. As its been living on clay with the occasional helping of compost and tree branches. We threw some water on it a few weeks ago, because we needed to empty one of our small water tanks, and it seems to have set the ball in motion.


Bearing fruit ~ click to enlarge


In the above image, you can see different flowers, starting to produce pods at different stages. They seem to start with many successful flowers being pollinated, but then drop all but one in the end. Perhaps if our tree got a little more TLC, more pods would successfully stay on?

I saw so many ants, drunk from pollen, they could barely stay on the flowers. It had a fragrance of wild nectar, so intense it started to smell sickly if you took in too much. It was the fragrance which caught my attention, while I was standing near the compost. I actually thought it was the compost wreaking at first, but then my nose soon sniffed out the real culprit. To my delight!

So, that was something I was not expecting the garden to bring forth. And I was just starting to lament the fact, everything had started to dwindle, because of the lack of rain. Carob is a remarkable tree.

4 comments:

  1. Wonderful! You'll love having those. I was given some 'carob' seeds. I was so proud of getting them to germinate but they turned out to be honey locusts. Apparently invasive. :-(

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    Replies
    1. Major bummer with it turning out to be the honey locusts. They sport some pretty lethal thorns.

      I was pricing the same tree from the nursery I bought it from, and it's nearly $50! I know I wouldn't have paid that much five years ago. More like just over $30. So it makes sense if you can get a hold of seeds to plant them.

      Although I don't know if the seeds would grow Hermaphrodite like the parent, or if they'd be a mixture of male, female and hermaphrodite plants. If I manage to save some, I can you send you them. Its the first time I've dealt with the fruit, so I hope I can save the seed. :)

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  2. I would love to give it a shot Chris! Thank you. It will be fun trying. The seeds need to be scarified before sewing so don't always work.

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