Carobs are a long-lived evergreen tree native to the Mediterranean. They have dense foliage, the leaves are shiny, green, round and leathery, new growth is bronze coloured. Carob flowers in summer with male and female flowers on different trees (dioecious). Planting at least five trees will usually guarantee at least one of each sex, for pod production. Named cultivars of bisexual trees are available at some nurseries. It can take 6 - 7 years for a tree to begin to bear. The fruit is a dark brown flattened pod, 13 - 30 cm in length and about 2.5 cm wide, containing a sweet, chocolate tasting pulp and several bean-like seeds. The sugar content of the pods can be as high as 50%. Carobs grow in full sun, are drought resistant, like dry, rocky sites and tolerate any soil except heavy clay. Winter temperatures below -8°C will cause injury and can retard fruiting.