Gleditsia triacanthos (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Gleditsia triacanthos L.

Protologue: Sp. pl. 2: 1056 (1753).

Vernacular names

  • Honey locust (En). Carouge de miel (Fr).


Originating from the eastern United States, G. triacanthos has been widely planted and often naturalized in the Mediterranean region, the Near and Far East, Asia and northern Australia.


Honey locust is a well-known folk remedy among various tribes of Amerindians in North America. Honey locust pods are used for dyspepsia and measles. An infusion of the bark is used for whooping coughs. The bark is furthermore used for blood disorders, coughs, colds, fevers, smallpox and measles. In Argentina, a decoction of dried pods is used to cure diarrhoea. The pods are relished by livestock and constitute an excellent feed.


A tree up to 45 m tall, branches armed with simple or branched, flat thorns; leaves up to 20 cm long, bipinnate with 4-16 pairs of pinnae, or pinnate and 14-32-foliolate, leaflets oblong-lanceolate, 4 cm × 1.5 cm, sparsely crenulate; inflorescence a downy raceme up to 7 cm long, flowers 3 mm diameter, green, staminate flowers preponderant, bisexual flowers with a pedicel up to 8 mm long; fruit flat, falcate, twisted, 45 cm × 4 cm, dark shining brown, many-seeded; seed 9 mm × 5 mm, embedded in pulpy tissue. The tree could be planted especially in drier parts, and at higher elevations in South-East Asia.

Selected sources

  • Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, 1948-1976. The wealth of India: a dictionary of Indian raw materials & industrial products. 11 volumes. Publications and Information Directorate, New Delhi, India.273, 303, 459, 647, 697, 880.


H.C. Ong