Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Southern Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Gleditsia aquatica Marshall
- Family: Pea (Fabaceae)
- Flowering: May-June
- Field Marks: This species, which closely resembles honey-locust by its singly and doubly
compound leaves, differs by its very short, 1-seeded pods.
- Habitat: Swamps, low woods, sloughs.
- Habit: Tree to 60 feet tall, with a trunk diameter up to 2 feet; crown irregularly spreading.
- Bark: Dark gray or brown, with shallow furrows; branched thorns sometimes present.
- Twigs: Slender, gray or brown, smooth, sometimes bearing unbranched thorns.
- Leaves: Alternate, once or twice pinnately compound, with many leaflets; each leaflet oblong to
oblong-ovate, rounded or slightly pointed at the tip, rounded at the base, sometimes minutely
toothed, smooth except sometimes with a few hairs on the veins on the lower surface, up to 1 inch
long, up to 1/2 inch wide.
- Flowers: In elongated clusters, up to 4 inches long, some with both stamens and pistils, some with
one or the other.
- Sepals: Usually 5, united below, greenish.
- Petals: Usually 5, free from each other, yellow-green, about 1/8 inch long.
- Stamens: 3-10.
- Pistils: Ovary superior.
- Fruits: Pods oval, flat, smooth, up to 1 1/2 inches long, up to 1 inch broad, 1-seeded.
- Notes: Unlike the honey-locust, this species does not have pulpy material around the seeds.
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