Gleditsia triacanthos inermis ‘Continental’
This thornless Honeylocust, a donation from Princeton Nurseries, was planted on 9/26/09 in the Flemer Arboretum along the path. It is an anomaly of the true variety, which bears sharp thorns. (Inermis means “unarmed.) Its mature height ranges from 50 to 70 feet tall, and mature spread nearly as wide as high. It casts light shade, so lawns under these trees do well. It has no particular soil preferences and is useful in dry areas. The ‘Continental’ cultivar has a narrow crown and large but finely cut dark blue-green leaves. It grows more than 18” annually, and can achieve 100 years of age if undisturbed.
The leaves are borne in fronds, and turn bright yellow in autumn. The Honeylocust is a member of the legume family, and so produces its seeds in the form of bean pods.
Its wood is good for woodworking, and it is a good soil stabilizer due to its nitrogen fixing capability.