Imperial Honey Locust

Scientific Name: Gleditsia triacanthos var. inermis ‘Imperial’

Family: Leguminosae

Origin: Central North America

Honey Locust

Why is this tree called a Honey Locust ? Honey comes from the sweet taste of the legume pulp that was eaten by Native Americans.

Why is its scientific name so long? It is a thornless variety of the Honey Locust. The species name triacanthos is Latin for three-parted thorns. The variety name inermis is Latin for unarmed or without thorns. It is also a cultivar (a cultivated variety) that is named Impcole and is sold using the name Imperial.

Common Names: Imperial Thornless Honey Locust

Mature Height: 30-35 feet, smaller than other Honey Locusts

Mature Width/Spread: 30-35 feet

Leaves:  The bipinnately compound leaves are fern-like, with numerous dark green rounded leaflets with serrated edges.

In the fall, the leaves become: yellow

Did you know …

  • This tree has fragrant small yellow-green blossoms with stalks that have a spike appearance.
  • The wood from this tree is very durable, and has been used to make fence posts. Also, the Cherokee Indians would use the tree’s wood to make bows.
Honey Locust Leaves in Fall
Honey Locust Leaves in Fall