Wasowski, Sally and Andy
Gleditsia triacanthos L.
Honey locust, Common Honey-locust, Honey-locust, Thornless common honey-locust, Honey shucks
Fabaceae (Pea Family)
The honey-locust is a 30-75 ft. tree
with a comparable spread and a delicate and sophisticated silhouette. Feathery, yellow-green, pinnately compound
leaves provide filtered shade. Fall color is yellow. Greenish flowers are not conspicuous, but the twisted seed pods change from red-green to maroon-brown as they mature. Pods 30-45 cm long, curled, persist into winter. Most wild trees are not thornless; the long, needle-sharp thorns are extremely vicious and not suitable for a domestic landscape.
Livestock and wildlife consume the honeylike, sweet pulp of the pods. Honey Locust is easily recognized by the large, branched spines on the trunk; thornless forms, however, are common in cultivation and are sometimes found wild. The spines have been used as pins. This hardy species is popular for shade, hedges, and attracting wildlife.
Image Gallery: 4 photo(s) available
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Tree Breeding System:
, Monoecious Leaf:
Green Autumn Foliage:
Brown Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: May , Jun
AL , AR , CT , DE , FL , GA , IL , IN , IA , KS , KY , LA , ME , MD , MA , MI , MN , MS , MO , NE , NV , NH , NJ , NM , NY , NC , ND , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , UT , VT , VA , WV , WI , WY , DC Canada: ON Native Distribution:
E. TX to e. SD, e. to MS & OH Native Habitat:
Moist woods; bottomlands; stream banks; drier, upland sites USDA Native Status: L48(N), CAN(N)
Growing ConditionsWater Use:
Medium Light Requirement:
Part Shade Soil Moisture:
Moist Soil pH:
Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2) CaCO3 Tolerance:
Medium Cold Tolerant:
Moist, deep, well-drained soil. Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay Conditions Comments:
Honey locust is fast-growing and long-lived. It suffers from mites, Mimosa webworm invaders, a number of cankers, and other pests. Exhibits salt-, drought-, heat-, high pH-, and salt-tolerance. Its filtered shade makes underplanting easy. This tree
has the ability to spread quickly and can become a weed
problem in some pasture areas. Mowing or cutting increases sprouts.
Attractive, Shade tree Use Wildlife:
Cover, Nesting site, Browse, Fruit-mammals, Nectar-butterflies, Nectar-bees. Use Food:
Southeastern indigenous people dried and ground the pulp from the pods and used it as a sweetener. Warning:
Plant has thorns or prickles. Attracts:
Butterflies Larval Host:
Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus).
Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)
is a larval host and/or nectar source for: