8 Lo­cust Lo­cust species TIM­ING: spring-sum­mer (fo­liage, pods)

NZ Lifestyle Block - - The good life -

Lo­custs are a large brown bean pro­duced by trees and favoured by an­i­mals (and hu­mans) for cen­turies. These trees are high in sugar and pro­tein and ben­e­fi­cial nu­tri­ents.

Carob lo­cust ( Cer­a­to­nia silique) is lit­er­ally choco­late for cows. The fe­male tree pro­duces pods that drop when ripe. It is a slow-grow­ing, long-lived tree ev­er­green tree that does not tol­er­ate frost or wa­ter­log­ging but is very hardy in a hot, dry cli­mate. Honey lo­custs ( Gled­it­sia tri­a­can­thos, also known as gled­it­sia) will tol­er­ate frosts and wet­ter cli­mates and pro­duces a high yield of pods. Thorn­less va­ri­eties can be sourced.

Both are legumes, so it is likely but un­known if they fix ni­tro­gen in the soil.

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