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Honey Locust (Gleditsia triacanthos), is a deciduous tree and a member of the bean/pea family. It bears long seed filled pods in fall, of which the pulp is sweet and edible. Also commonly known as a thorny locust, this native American tree glows golden in the fall, but bears a menacing array of thorns.

You’ll find it growing in midwestern states, from eastern Texas as far east and north as Pennsylvania. Favoring areas near rivers or the bottom of valley land, it thrives in rich moist soil. It can however adapt well to other soils, and with its frequent seed dispersal through deer and farm animals, can be considered an invasive pest.

Reaching no more than 20m in height, an abundance of pods should still be well within reach on its low spreading branches. Large and intimidating thorns line its trunk and branches, protruding singularly from the tree or forming angular and threatening clusters. The leaves are pinnate compounds, with each oval shaped leaflet measuring up to 2cm long. Clusters of highly scented cream flowers adorn the base of the leaves, developing into the long 20cm seed pods throughout the summer.

Honeylocust, Thorned

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