Gleditsia triacanthos L.

Honey Locust

Open long-trunked tree covered with simple or branched flattened thorns. Leaves alternate, compound, pinnate or bipinnate,15-20 cm long. Leaflets 20-30, each 2-3 cm long, edges sparsely and finely scalloped, almost stalkless, yellow in autumn. Flowers green, in clusters 5-7 cm long. Fruit pods 30-40 cm long, flat, curved and twisted, dark brown.

A tree widely grown internationally and gaining popularity as a city planting in the 1970s to 1980s for its formal and colourful cultivars that link well with architecture. On farmland the trees have been grown for the pods, which are used as feed for stock.

Cleared plants, if not totally removed, may coppice to form dense thickets.

f. inermis DC., Thornless Honey Locust. As for the species but without thorns, foliage turning yellow in autumn.

'Limegold' PVR 11(3)52.

Specimens VIC: Box Hill (Gds); Leongatha (Moss Vale Park).

N America. Naturalised in Qld, NSW and possibly WA from roadsides, disturbed sites and waterways.

ACT: Acton (Academy of Science). VIC: Dandenongs (Hamer Arboretum, ptd 1975); Essendon (Queens Park).

Source: Spencer, R. (2002). Caesalpiniaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 3. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 2. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

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Distribution map

Gleditsia triacanthos 'Elegantissima'

Thornless Compact Gleditsia. A dwarf, almost columnar, thornless tree with a dense habit.

Gleditsia triacanthos 'Rubylace'

Thornless Scarlet Honey Locust.Thornless, small sterile tree with young foliage dark red, later becoming bronzish green. Int. 1964 by Princeton Nsy of New Jersey, usa.

Gleditsia triacanthos 'Shademaster'

Thornless Green Honey Locust. Tall, thornless, erect, broadly crowned tree with pendulous branch tips. Leaves dark green, persisting into autumn. Int. 1956 by Princeton Nsy, New Jersey, usa. Specimens can be seen in Canberra on London Circuit, Electricity House.

Gleditsia triacanthos 'Skyline'

Conical habit eventually becoming rounded. Foliage reddish bronze at first, dark green and leathery. Int. 1957 by Cole Nsy, Painesville, usa.

Gleditsia triacanthos 'Sunburst'

Thornless Golden Honey Locust.a thornless, fast growing, broadly conical tree to about 10 m tall with spreading branches. Young leaves and tips of the young shoots yellow and remaining so for most of the season. Pods not developing. Specimens Vic: Kew; Prahran (Greville St, next to Wesley College).

kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Rosanae
order      Fabales
family       Fabaceae
genus        Gleditsia L.