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Gleditsia triacanthos

Gleditsia triacanthos L.

Gleditsia triacanthos L. var. inermis (L.) C.K. Schneid.

Honey Locust, Honeylocust

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassRosidaeRoses, legumes, proteas, dogwoods, hydrangeas, mistletoes, euphorbias, grapes, many more
OrderFabalesLegumes (pea and bean families)
FamilyFabaceaeLegume family (peas and beans)
GenusGleditsiaNamed for German botanist Johann Gottlieb Gleditsch (1714-1786)
SpeciestriacanthosThree-spined

About plant names...

Honey locusts are fast-growing trees that live up to 120 years. The term “honey” may refer to the pulp in the fruit pods, which is sweet.

Identification: Honey locusts reach 66-98' (20-30 m) in height. The trunk and branches can have evil-looking red thorns, up to 3" (7.6 cm) long. (Thornless cultivars have been developed though.) Leaves on younger trees are bipinnate; on older trees, they are pinnate. Individual leaflets in the leaf groups are ⅜-⅞" (1-2.5 cm) long. In the fall, leaves become golden yellow. Flowers are small, greenish yellow, in hanging clusters 2-3" (5-7.6 cm) long. The fruit pods, resembling pea pods, are a very conspicuous feature—up to 8" (20 cm) long, twisted and contorted, turning from yellow brown to orange to dark red brown.

Gleditsia triacanthos (Honey Locust, Honeylocust)

Honey locust spines, by Luis Fernández García. Barrio del Pilar, Madrid, Spain, 6/5/2005.

Online References:

Gleditsia triacanthos on Carolina Nature, from Will Cook

Gleditsia triacanthos on the USDA Forest Service's Fire Effects Information Database

Gleditsia triacanthos at the Ohio.gov Department of Natural Resources

Gleditsia triacanthos at the Ohio State University PLANTFacts database

References:

Sibley, David Allen, The Sibley Guide to Trees, Alfred A. Knopf, 2009, p. 122

Gleditsia triacanthos (Honey Locust, Honeylocust)

9/14/2009 · Near Nashoba Hospital, Ayer, MA ID is uncertain

Gleditsia triacanthos (Honey Locust, Honeylocust)

This young tree is about 3 feet high. · 6/26/2015 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, Groton, MA
≈ 9 × 6" (22 × 15 cm)

Gleditsia triacanthos description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 4 Jul 2015.

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Gleditsia triacanthos (Honey Locust, Honeylocust)

9/1/2013 · Colonial Williamsburg, Williamsburg, VA
≈ 17 × 11" (42 × 28 cm)

Gleditsia triacanthos (Honey Locust, Honeylocust)

5/6/2011 · Chesapeake Exploration Center, Kent Island, MD
≈ 12 × 8" (31 × 20 cm) ID is uncertain

Gleditsia triacanthos (Honey Locust, Honeylocust)

5/6/2011 · Chesapeake Exploration Center, Kent Island, MD
≈ 6 × 9" (15 × 23 cm) ID is uncertain

Gleditsia triacanthos (Honey Locust, Honeylocust)

9/14/2009 · Near Nashoba Hospital, Ayer, MA ID is uncertain

Gleditsia triacanthos (Honey Locust, Honeylocust)

7/23/2010 · Nashua River Boat Ramp on Rte 119, Groton, MA ID is uncertain

Gleditsia triacanthos (Honey Locust, Honeylocust)

5/6/2011 · Chesapeake Exploration Center, Kent Island, MD
≈ 6 × 9" (15 × 23 cm) ID is uncertain

Gleditsia triacanthos (Honey Locust, Honeylocust)

9/1/2013 · Colonial Williamsburg, Williamsburg, VA
≈ 14 × 9" (35 × 23 cm)

Gleditsia triacanthos (Honey Locust, Honeylocust)

7/23/2010 · Nashua River Boat Ramp on Rte 119, Groton, MA
≈ 21 × 31" (52 × 78 cm) ID is uncertain

Gleditsia triacanthos (Honey Locust, Honeylocust)

5/6/2011 · Chesapeake Exploration Center, Kent Island, MD
≈ 12 × 8" (31 × 20 cm) ID is uncertain

Gleditsia triacanthos (Honey Locust, Honeylocust)

This young tree is about 3 feet high. · 6/26/2015 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, Groton, MA
≈ 8 × 6" (20 × 14 cm)

Gleditsia triacanthos (Honey Locust, Honeylocust)

9/1/2013 · Colonial Williamsburg, Williamsburg, VA
≈ 13 × 9" (34 × 22 cm)

Gleditsia triacanthos (Honey Locust, Honeylocust)

This young tree is about 3 feet high. · 6/26/2015 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, Groton, MA
≈ 7 × 4½" (16 × 11 cm)

Gleditsia triacanthos (Honey Locust, Honeylocust)

9/1/2013 · Colonial Williamsburg, Williamsburg, VA
≈ 14 × 10" (36 × 24 cm)

Gleditsia triacanthos (Honey Locust, Honeylocust)

This young tree is about 3 feet high. · 6/26/2015 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, Groton, MA
≈ 8 × 6" (20 × 14 cm)

Gleditsia triacanthos (Honey Locust, Honeylocust)

9/14/2009 · Near Nashoba Hospital, Ayer, MA ID is uncertain

Range: Zones 3-9:

About this map...