Tree to 20 or even 40 m; lvs with 9-14 pairs of lfls or 4-7 pairs of pinnae; lfls oblong-lanceolate, obscurely crenate, 2-4 cm on pinnate lvs, 1-2 cm on bipinnate ones; petioles pubescent; staminate racemes 3-7 cm, densely many-fld; fertile racemes loose, with fewer, more evidently pedicellate, pistillate or perfect fls; pods 15-40 נ3-4 cm, dark brown, firm, pubescent when young, the seeds ca 2 cm apart and separated by sweetish pulp; 2n=28. Rich moist woods; Pa. to Tenn. and w. Fla., w. to s. Minn., se. S.D. and Tex., and widely cult. elsewhere. May. G. شexana Sarg., with pods 10-15 cm, lacking pulp, is a rare hybrid with no. 2 [Gleditsia aquatica Marshall].
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.
Common Name: honeylocust Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Tree Wetland Status: FAC General: Perennial trees 50-140 feet tall, the boles usually short and often divided near the ground, trunk and lower branches armed with large thorns, these with one point or branching into many points, commonly forming dense clusters, the thorns are usually soft and green when young, then hardening and turning reddish or black to gray with age, bark 6-35 mm thick with narrow ridges divided by fissures, often peeling in strips, trees deciduous. Leaves: Alternate, oddly 2-pinnate and 1-pinnate, 2-pinnate leaves with 4-20 leaflets, these elliptic to oblong, 13-25 mm long, 1- pinnate leaves with 20-28 leaflets, also elliptic to oblong and 15-35 mm long, blade surfaces glabrous, pinnately viened, the leaves with stipules. Flowers: Small, bilateral, in fragrant, narrow, hanging clusters, the perianths yellow-green with 5 petals, these free, fused, or the lower 2 united a into a keel, flowers staminate and pistillate; staminate flowers to 3 mm long, pistillate flowers 4-5 mm long, sepals 5, fused, stamens 5-7, stamens 10 or many, free or fused or 10 with 9 filaments at least partly fused, the uppermost free, pistil 1, ovary superior, 1-chambered, ovules 1-many, style, stigma 1, inflorescences staminate and pistillate; staminate inflorescences 1-several per spur, 3.5-8 cm long, simple or branching at the tips,pistillate inflorescences 1 per spur, 3-5 cm long, simple. Fruits: Legumes 20-40 cm long and 2.5-3 cm wide, generally curved, often twisted, hairy in youth, brown, glabrous, and shiny, the insides with thick, sweet, edible pulp, fruits persistent in age, generally 1-3 per peduncle. Seeds medium to dark brown, shiny. Ecology: Found in moist riparian to dry upland woodlands, to 2,500 ft (762 m); flowering May-June. Distribution: Widespread across most of the United States. Notes: The mature thorns of this species are quite sharply pointed and wicked-looking, often forming dense clusters on the surfaces of the trunk and branches. The thorns, along with the pinnately or bi-pinnately compound leaves and sweet-pulped legumes are good indicators of this species. Etymology: Gleditsia is named for German botanist Johann Gottlieb Gleditsch, and triacanthos means three-spined. Synonyms: Gleditsia triacanthos var. inermis Editor: LCrumbacher2012