Heirloom & Perennial Ltd

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Gleditsia Triacanthos, Honey Locust


A very ornamental tree, the flowers are very attractive to bees. Trees have a light canopy, they come into leaf late and lose their leaves early making them an excellent canopy tree for a woodland garden.

Succeeds in most soils, acid or alkaline, so long as they are well-drained. Requires a sunny position. Tolerates drought once established and atmospheric pollution. Salt tolerant.

Pre-soak for 24 hours in warm water and then sow in spring in a greenhouse. The seed should have swollen up, in which case it can be sown, if it has not swollen then soak it for another 24 hours in warm water. If this does not work then file away some of the seed coat but be careful not to damage the embryo. Further soaking should then cause the seed to swell. Once it has swollen, the seed should germinate within 2 - 4 weeks at 20°c.

Planted for land reclamation on mining waste.

Wood - strong, coarse-grained, elastic, very hard, very durable in contact with the soil, highly shock resistant. It does not shrink much but splits rather easily and does not glue well. It weighs 42lb per cubic foot. Largely used for making fence posts and rails, wheel hubs, farm implements etc and in construction.

Edible uses

Seed - raw or cooked. It can contain up to 30% sugar. Young seeds taste like raw peas. Seeds are not always borne in maritime regions because the tree prefers long hot summers. The oval seeds are about 8mm long.

They contain 10.6 - 24.1% protein, 0.8 - 4.3% fat, 84.7% carbohydrate, 21.1% fibre, 4% ash, 280mg calcium and 320mg phosphorus per 100g. The seeds have been roasted and used as a coffee substitute.

Seedpods - the pulp is sweet and can be eaten raw or made into sugar. The young seedpods can be cooked and eaten. The pulp in older pods turns bitter. The seedpods are up to 40cm long and 4cm wide.

A sweet, pleasant tasting drink can be made from the seed pods. The seed pulp has been used to make a drink.


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