Botanical MeFites: please ID this plant
November 9, 2006 4:23 AM   Subscribe

BotanicalFilter: What kind of plant is this? Posted a photo of an unknown (because I'm ignorant of such things) plant found in Southern Spain to Flickr. Now other Flickr-ites and botanists are arguing over the correct identification: Carob or Tamarind seem favourite. Do Mefites know better? Photo and comments so far at Comments on this forum or flickr welcome. Thanks.
posted by limeyboy to Home & Garden (5 answers total)
Pods and leaves look like tamarind, at least from what I could see on Wikipedia.
posted by donp17 at 4:32 AM on November 9, 2006

The tamarind I've seen in stores here (in DC) is usually shorter and fatter, and the wikipedia photo seems to confirm that. But I'd guess therre are different varieties. I've never seen carob, though.
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:29 AM on November 9, 2006

This may not be entirely practicable, but if you send a leaf, or a seed pod to Kew Gardens in London they will identify it for you for free. Perhaps you could email them the photo.
posted by roofus at 8:16 AM on November 9, 2006

I have seen carob and munched their tasty pods. That's no carob. Carob pods are shinier and have less pronounced bulges around the seeds, which are smaller. Also carob leaves are larger.

Never seen a tamarind.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 11:13 AM on November 9, 2006

Tamarind doesn't grow wild in Southern Spain, but carob does. Also, carob trees exhibit cauliflory, or flowers/fruits that grow directly from limbs. In your picture, the tree appears rather young, so it is hard to say, but the fruit seems to be growing in such a fashion.
posted by owhydididoit at 12:17 AM on November 18, 2006

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