Gleditsia triacanthos
Honey Locust
Pennsylvania to Texas - United States

Upright, with a graceful, open, vase-shaped crown and branches growing somewhat horizontally.
Very variable in height, commonly 30-70 feet (up to 100 feet plus) tall with a spread up to 60-70 feet
Plants are polygamo-dioecious. Flowers are greenish, fragrant, borne in axillary racemes in June, not showy.
Leaves are alternate, pinnate or bipinnately compound pinnate leaves having 20-30 leaflets, each being ⅓-1˝ inches long bi-pinnate leaves having 50-100 leaflets, each being ⅓-1 inch long, very finely serrate.
Fall color is a clear yellow.
Buds are very tiny, difficult to see, clustered at the nodes.
Bark is grayish-brown, divided into large, flat plates, separated by deep ridges. Stems are zig-zag, with very large, branched thorns
Fruit is a reddish-brown to brown pod, 7-18 inches long, 1 inch wide, ripening in September-October and persisting all winter.

  • var. inermis - has the same general characteristics as the species except that the thorns are missing.
  • 'Moraine' - patented in 1949.
  • 'Rubylace' - thornless dark purplish-red growth which darkens to bronze-green as the leaves mature.
  • 'Sieler' - thornless large wide spreading tree nearly seedless.
  • 'Stephens' - thornless and seedless.
  • 'Skyline' - thornless and branches emerge from the trunk at a wide angle but quickly turning upward, to give a pyramidal shape to the tree.
  • 'Sunburst' - thornless with bright golden-yellow color of young leaves, relatively slow, compact habit of growth
Named for Johann Gleditsch


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