Garden Inventory: Honey Locust (Gleditsia triacanthos)

Honey locusts, Gleditsia triacanthos, can reach a height of 20–30 m (66–100 ft), with fast growth, and are relatively short-lived; their life spans are typically about 120 years, though some live up to 150 years. They are prone to losing large branches in windstorms. The leaves are pinnately compound on older trees but bipinnately compound on vigorous young trees. The leaflets are 1.5–2.5 cm (smaller on bipinnate leaves) and bright green. They turn yellow in the fall (autumn). Leafs out relatively late in spring, but generally slightly earlier than the black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia). The strongly scented cream-colored flowers appear in late spring, in clusters emerging from the base of the leaf axils.-

Another tree that was originally in the garden when we purchased the property. It is deciduous and is covered with bright yellow leaves each fall which then coat the ground when wind or rain arrives. It is one of the few colorful Fall trees here in Southern California.

This tree is probability a cultivated variety as it has no thorns, which are typical in the wild, native varieties of locust. It shows long, seed pods each Spring/early Summer and I have found that wasp love to feed on the stumpy flower stalks that form soon after the tree comes into leaf each Spring. I regularly see seedlings from this tree sprout up in the garden beds although I have not propagated any. Perhaps as part of my on-going propagation program I started a few weeks ago I might try and place one in a pot for further growth.


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Photos of Honey Locust (Gleditsia triacanthos) with closeups of  leaves,  growing habit, and stems.

More information on Honey Locust (Gleditsia triacanthos):

Previously on Garden Inventory:

Garden Inventory is a series where I begin an inventory of all the plants and trees in my garden. Along with some of my own pictures, I will link to various sources of information about each plant and tree so we can learn a little more together.

I would also like to highlight your special plants and tress. Pass along your favorite plants in the comments and I will use them for future Garden Inventory posts. — Douglas