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carob(kăr`əb), leguminous evergreen tree (Ceratonia siliqua) of the family Leguminosae (pulsepulse,
in botany, common name for members of the Fabaceae (Leguminosae), a large plant family, called also the pea, or legume, family. Numbering about 650 genera and 17,000 species, the family is third largest, after the asters and the orchids.
..... Click the link for more information. family), native to Mediterranean regions but cultivated in other warm climates, including Florida and California. The large red pods have been used for food for animal and man since prehistoric times. The pods and their extracted content have numerous common names, e.g., locust bean gum and St.-John's-bread—the latter from the belief that they may have been the "locust" eaten by John the Baptist in the wilderness (Mark 1.6). Carob is used also for curing tobacco, in papermaking, and as a stabilizer in food products. It has been claimed that the seeds were the original of the carat, the measure of weight for precious jewels and metals. Carob is classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
..... Click the link for more information. , class Magnoliopsida, order Rosales, family Leguminosae.
(Ceratonia siliqua), also St. John’s-bread or algarroba, a tree of the family Caesalpiniaceae. The carob reaches a height of 10 m and has a broad crown. The evergreen leaves are compact and pinnate, and the tiny flowers are gathered in racemes. The calyx is plain and deciduous; there is no corolla. The carob is cultivated in the Mediterranean region, and in some places it grows wild. In the USSR it is occasionally grown in the moist subtropics of Georgia and Azerbaijan. Carob pods, brown in color and indehiscent, are about 10–25 cm long, 2–4 cm wide, and 0.5–1 cm thick. In addition to seeds, they contain a sweet, juicy pulp with a sugar content of approximately 50 percent. The fruits are cultivated for use as food (candy or a coffee substitute) and as forage for cattle. The juice can be squeezed from the pods and used as a sweet syrup or as a raw material in the production of alcohol. The hard, flat, brown seeds served in ancient times as a measure of weight.