Productivity 80-100 years.
30-40' high and as wide or wider.
A few cultivars are hermaphrodites with bisexual flowers that are
self-fruitful. Most cultivars have separate male and female flowers on different
trees with a course bottle-brush structure. The male flowers and flower parts
have a foul odor to attract insects. Pollination is by wind and insects.
Late summer and fall.
Depends on cultivar. Both a male and a female tree are usually
needed. Only the female trees bear fruit.
Years before fruiting:
6 years for a budded (grafted) plant.
A long, brown, twisting seed pod. The dried pods without the hard seeds
are ground into an edible, sweet, chocolate tasting, nutritious, low fat powder.
The seeds are processed into an edible gum used as a thickener called locust bean
Months for fruit to ripen:
11. Dried pods should be harvested quickly after
they turn fully brown if rain is likely. Brown pods ferment on the tree when they
Pod yield increases with the age of the tree:
5 pounds at six years, 100 pounds at twelve years, up to 500 pounds at twenty
years for some cultivars with certain orchard management techniques.
Storage after harvest:
Keep in a dry, ventilated location. Can be stored for
Oval, green, thick leaflets, heavy shade.
Presumed nitrogen-fixing. Deep tap root and aggressive surface roots.
Cultivars of Note:
'Santa Fe' Self-fruitful, excellent flavor.
Attracts insects. Seedpods are eaten by mammals.
Toxic / Danger:
No. Unlike chocolate, the seedpods are safe for animals and dogs
to consume. The seedpod husk and seeds contain some tannin.
Mediterranean region. Cultivated more than 4000 years.