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Gleditsia triacanthos

Fabaceae (Legume Family)

▲▼ young plants, showing bipinnately compound leaves and long thorns

▲ mature plant with long thorns on branches

▲ mature tree in pasture

▲ young tree by lake


         native medium to large tree with pinnate to bipinnately compound leaves (small, gray-green to green oval leaflets), gray twigs, brown to silver gray bark which splits into platey ridges with age

         twigs, branches, trunks can produce long, branched thorns (up to 12" long), making it difficult to pass through a thicket of these young trees for cattle or people

         is dioecious, with long (8-12") twisting, brown pods on female trees

         this, along with cedar, blackberries, multiflora rose, can spring up and choke out an unmanaged pasture

         Note: a naturally thornless variety of this species exists, and is widely used for landscaping (Thornless Honeylocust) its seedlings are mostly thornless


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