Leaf: Alternate, pinnately compound, 5 to 8 inches long, with 15 to 30 leaflets or bipinnately compound with 4 to 7 pairs of minor leaflets. Leaflets are 1/2 to 1 1/2 inches long, ovate to elliptical in shape, green to yellow-green.
Flower: Small, greenish yellow, displayed on 2 to 3 inch long narrow, hanging clusters, not showy, but very fragrant, appearing in late spring and early summer.
Fruit: A very distinctive, 6 to 8 inches long, flattened, red-brown, leathery pod that becomes dry and twisted; pod contains many oval, dark brown, shiny seeds, 1/3 inch long, maturing in late summer and early fall.
Twig: May be either stout or slender, prominantly zig-zag, red-brown to light brown in color, numerous lenticels and branched thorns. Lateral buds are very small and sunken.
Bark: Initially, gray-brown to bronze, and smooth with many horizontal lenticels, later breaking into long, narrow, curling plates. Often displaying clusters of large, branched thorns on trunk.
Form: A medium size tree with a typically short bole and an airy, spreading crown, reaches up to 80 feet tall.
Looks like: waterlocust - mimosa - black locust
Additional Range Information: Gleditsia triacanthos is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. Download the full-size PDF map.
More Information: Fall Color - Landowner Factsheet
External Links: USDAFS Silvics of North America - USDAFS FEIS Silvics - USDA Plants Database - Horticulture Information - USDAFS Forest Products Lab
All material © 2019 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson; Silvics reprinted from Ag Handbook 654; range map source information