HONEY LOCUST, the popular name of a tree, Gleditsia triacanthos, a member of the natural order Leguminosae, and a native of the more eastern United States of North America. It reaches from 75 to 140 ft. in height with a trunk 2 or 3, or sometimes 5 or 6 ft. in diameter, and slender spreading branches which form a broad, flattish crown. The branchlets bear numerous simple or three-forked (whence the species-name triacanthos) sharp stiff spines, 3 to 4 in. long, at first red in colour, then chestnut brown; they are borne above the leaf -axils and represent undeveloped branchlets; sometimes they are borne also on the trunk and main branches. The long-stalked leaves are 7 to 8 in. long with eight to fourteen pairs of narrowly oblong leaflets. The flowers, which are of two kinds, are borne in racemes in the leaf-axils; the staminate flowers in larger numbers. The brown pods are often 12 to 18 in. long, have thin, tough walls, and contain a quantity of pulp between the seeds; they contract spirally when drying. The tree was first cultivated in Europe towards the end of the 17th century by Bishop Compton in his garden at Fulham, near London, and is now extensively planted as an ornamental tree. The name of the genus commemorates Johann Gottlieb Gleditsch (1714-1786), a friend of Linnaeus, and the author of one of the earliest works on scientific forestry.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)