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Honey Locust, Gleditsia triacanthos …#14
Image by Vietnam Plants & America plants
Taken on June 17, 2012 in Waco city, Texas state, Southern of America.
Vietnamese named : Bồ Kết ba gai, Gai mật.
Common names : Honeylocust, Driedoring, Sprinkaan Boom (South Africa), Acacia Negra (Argentina).
Scientist name : Gleditsia triacanthos L.
Synonyms : Gleditsia triacanthos L. var. inermis (L.) C.K. Schneid.
Family : Fabaceae / Pea family. Họ Đậu
Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Genus: Gleditsia L. – locust
Species: Gleditsia triacanthos L. – honeylocust
Bồ kết ba gai (danh pháp hai phần: Gleditsia triacanthos) là một loài cây gỗ lá sớm rụng có nguồn gốc ở miền đông Bắc Mỹ. Nó chủ yếu được tìm thấy trong các vùng đất ẩm ướt ven các thung lũng sông từ đông nam Nam Dakota kéo dài về phía nam tới New Orleans và miền trung Texas và về phía tây tới trung Pennsylvania.
**** www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Gleditsia+triacanthos : Click on link to read more, please.
Edible Parts: Seed; Seedpod.
Edible Uses: Coffee; Drink; Gum; Sweetener.
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[149, 159, 183]. The render 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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Anaesthetic; Antiseptic; Cancer; Stomachic.
The pods have been made into a tea for the treatment of indigestion, measles, catarrh etc[222, 257]. The juice of the pods is antiseptic. The pods have been seen as a good antidote for children’s complaints. The alcoholic extract of the fruits of the honey locust, after elimination of tannin, considerably retarded the growth, up to 63% of Ehrlich mouse carcinoma. However, the cytotoxicity of the extract was quite high and the animals, besides losing weight, showed dystrophic changes in their liver and spleen. The alcoholic extract of the fruit exerted moderate oncostatic activity against sarcoma 180 and Ehrlich carcinoma at the total dose 350 mg/kg/body weight/mouse. Weight loss was considerable. An infusion of the bark has been drunk and used as a wash in the treatment of dyspepsia. It has also been used in the treatment of whooping cough, measles, smallpox etc. The twigs and the leaves contain the alkaloids gleditschine and stenocarpine. Stenocarpine has been used as a local anaesthetic whilst gleditschine causes stupor and loss of reflex activity. Current research is examining the leaves as a potential source of anticancer compounds.
Gum; Soil reclamation; Tannin; Wood.
Planted for land reclamation on mining waste. The gum from the seeds has been suggested as an emulsifying substitute for acacia and tragacanth. The heartwood contains 4 – 4.8% tannin. Wood – strong, coarse-grained, elastic, very hard, very durable in contact with the soil, highly shock resistant[46, 61, 82, 149]. 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[46, 61, 82, 149].
Succeeds in most soils, acid or alkaline[160, 200], so long as they are well-drained. Requires a sunny position. Tolerates drought once established and atmospheric pollution. Salt tolerant. The honey locust is speculated to tolerate an annual precipitation of 60 to 150cm, an annual temperature range of 10 to 21°C, and a pH in the range of 6 to 8. Trees are rather tender when young, but they are hardy to about -30°c once they are established. They grow best in southern Britain. The honey locust is often cultivated in warm temperate zones for its edible seeds and seedpods, trees start to bear when about 10 years old and produce commercial crops for about 100 years. Wild trees seldom live longer than 120 years. Trees are shy to flower and therefore do not often produce a worthwhile crop in Britain due to our cooler summers. There are some named varieties. The sub-species nana produced lots of viable seed in the hot summer of 1989 at Kew[K], it also had a very good crop in 1994, 1996 and in 1999[K]. The sub-species inermis had a very good crop of pods in the autumn of 1996[K]. ‘Ashworth’ has pods with a very sweet pulp that has a melon-like flavour. The flowers have a pleasing scent. A very ornamental tree, the flowers are very attractive to bees[149, 269]. 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. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus. Unlike most plants in this family, honey locusts do not fix atmospheric nitrogen[160, 226].
Seed – 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. One it has swollen, the seed should germinate within 2 – 4 weeks at 20°c. As soon as they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual deep pots and plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer. Give the plants some protection from the cold for their first few winters outdoors.
The Honey locust, Gleditsia triacanthos, is a deciduous tree native to central North America. It is mostly found in the moist soil of river valleys ranging from southeastern South Dakota to New Orleans and central Texas, and as far east as eastern Massachusetts.
Honey locusts, Gleditsia triacanthos, can reach a height of 20–30 m (66–100 ft), with fast growth, and are relatively short-lived; their life spans are typically about 120 years, though some live up to 150 years. They are prone to losing large branches in windstorms. The leaves are pinnately compound on older trees but bipinnately compound on vigorous young trees. The leaflets are 1.5–2.5 cm (smaller on bipinnate leaves) and bright green. They turn yellow in the fall (autumn). Leafs out relatively late in spring, but generally slightly earlier than the black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia). The strongly scented cream-colored flowers appear in late spring, in clusters emerging from the base of the leaf axils.
The fruit of the Honey locust is a flat legume (pod) that matures in early autumn. The pods are generally between 15–20 cm. The pulp on the insides of the pods is edible, unlike the Black locust, which is toxic. The seeds are dispersed by grazing herbivores such as cattle and horses, which eat the pod pulp and excrete the seeds in droppings; the animal’s digestive system assists in breaking down the hard seed coat, making germination easier.
Honey locusts commonly have thorns 3–10 cm long growing out of the branches, some reaching lengths over 20 cm; these may be single, or branched into several points, and commonly form dense clusters. The thorns are fairly soft and green when young, harden and turn red as they age, then fade to ash grey and turn brittle when mature. These thorns are thought to have evolved to protect the trees from browsing Pleistocene megafauna which may also have been involved in seed dispersal. Thornless forms (Gleditsia triacanthos inermis) are occasionally found growing wild and are available as nursery plants.
Ranchers and farmers, though, do deem this species as invasive because it quickly can move into pastures and grazing lands out-competing grasses for living space.
Despite its name, the honey locust is not a significant honey plant. The name derives from the sweet taste of the legume pulp, which was used for food by Native American people, and can also be fermented to make beer. The long pods, which eventually dry and ripen to brown or maroon, are surrounded in a tough, leathery skin that adheres very strongly to the pulp within. The pulp – bright green in unripe pods – is strongly sweet, crisp and succulent in unripe pods. Dark brown tannin-rich beans are found in slots within the pulp.
Its cultivars are popular ornamental plants, especially in the northern plains of North America where few other trees can survive and prosper. It tolerates urban conditions, compacted soil, road salt, alkaline soil, heat and drought. The popularity is in part due to the fact that it transplants so easily. The fast growth rate and tolerance of poor site conditions make it valued in areas where shade is wanted quickly, such as new parks or housing developments, and in disturbed and reclaimed environments, such as mine tailings. It is resistant to Gypsy moths but is defoliated by another pest, the mimosa webworm. Spider mites, cankers, and galls are a problem with some trees. Many cultivated varieties do not have thorns.
Honey locusts produce a high quality, durable wood that polishes well, but the tree does not grow in sufficient numbers to support a bulk industry; however, a niche market exists for honey locust furniture. It’s also used for posts and rails since it takes a long time to rot. In the past, the hard thorns of the younger trees have been used as nails.
The honey locust is popular with permaculturalists across the globe, for its multiple uses. The legumes make a valuable, high protein cattle fodder, which becomes more readily accessible with the thornless (inermis) variety. The broad shade of the tree canopy is of great value for livestock in hotter climates, such as Australia. It is also claimed to be a nitrogen fixer, by way of rhizobium, which benefits the surrounding soil and plants. The durability and quality of the timber, as well as the ability to produce its own nails, fits the paradigm of self-sustaining agriculture that requires fewer external inputs/resources.
The ability of Gleditsia to fix nitrogen is disputed. Many scientific sources  clearly state that Gleditsia does not fix nitrogen. Some support this statement with the fact that Gleditsia does not form root nodules with symbiotic bacteria, the assumption being that without nodulation, no N-fixation can occur. In contrast, many popular sources, permaculture publications in particular, claim that Gleditsia does fix nitrogen but by some other mechanism.
There are anatomical, ecological and taxonomic indications to counter the assumption that only nodulating legumes fix nitrogen. Many non-nodulating species are as capable as nodulating species of growing well in nitrogen-limited soils and in some cases grow better. Also their leaf litter and seeds are higher in nitrogen than non-legumes [McKey, 1994; Waterman 1994] and sometimes higher even than nodulating legumes growing on the same site. How this happens is not yet well understood, but current research has recorded by-products of nitrogenase activity in non-nodulating leguminous plants  including Gleditsia triacanthos. Also, electron microscopy indicates the presence of clusters around the inner cortex of roots, just outside the xylem, that resemble colonies of rhizobial bacterioids. These may well constitute the evolutionary precursors in legumes for nitrogen fixation through nodulation.
It is not known whether the kind of N-fixation implied by these discoveries benefits other plants in the vicinity, as is known to be the case with nodulating legumes. Gleditsia coppices readily, and it seems reasonable to assume that reduction in root mass in response to coppicing should liberate nutrients in the sloughed off roots into the soil, to the benefit of neighbouring plants.
Extracts of Gleditsia possess important pharmacological activities in treating rheumatoid arthritis, as anti-mutagenic, anticancer and have significant cytotoxic activity against different cell lines  Seeds of Gleditsia triacanthos contain a trypsin inhibitor.