Honey locust

Gleditsia triacanthos L.

Fabaceae (Legume family)


Honey locust is a medium-sized to large tree that can reach 100 feet tall. It is a member of the Legume family and can grow in dense, impenetrable thickets.

On older trees, the bark is grayish brown to black, with clusters of thorns and deep cracks that separate into scaly ridges. The trunk and branches of honey locust are densely thorny. The thorns can sometimes be as long as 12 inches and are three pronged.

The leaves are deciduous and located alternately on the stems. They occur in a typical legume fashion, being twice pinnate. Showy flowers appear in May and June, and large bean pods up to 1› feet long ripen in September and October.

The plant is considered poor forage for livestock and fair for wildlife.


Honey locust grows in moist, fertile soils across the eastern and central parts of Texas.