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GLEDITSIA triacanthos (SUNBURST®)

Image of Gleditsia triacanthos f. inermis 'Suncole' (SUNBURST®)

Gerald L. Klingaman

Family

Fabaceae

Botanical Name

GLEDITSIA triacanthos f. inermis 'Suncole'(SUNBURST®)

Plant Common Name

Thornless Honeylocust

General Description

Honeylocust is a spiny, lacy-leaved, medium to large deciduous tree native to the central and eastern United States and extreme southern Ontario, Canada. Named for its golden new leaves that mature to green, the honeylocust cultivar Sunburst® develops into a somewhat ungainly, loose-crowned tree with winding branches.

Like other honeylocusts, Sunburst® has fine-textured, pinnately compound leaves that emerge relatively late in spring and cast filtered shade. This cultivar's leaves flush bright golden yellow in spring, fade to light green in summer, and turn golden brown before dropping in autumn. Fallen leaves create relatively little mess. The trunk has gray-brown, shallowly fissured bark that lacks the formidable spines typical of most honeylocusts. Clusters of inconspicuous greenish flowers appear in spring, with no seedpods following.

Honeylocust likes sun and is adapted to a wide variety of soil types. Thornless selections make good shade trees, although overuse of this species has led to increasing cultural problems. This cultivar is susceptible to canker, mimosa webworm, and winter breakage.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    3 - 8

  • Sunset Zone

    1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20

  • Plant Type

    Tree

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring

  • Native To

    Northeastern United States, Southeastern United States, North-Central United States, Central United States, South-Central United States, Canada

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam

  • Tolerances

    Salt

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    Yellow Green

  • Fruit Color

    Red, Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Light Green, Chartreuse, Dark Green, Yellow Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Light Yellow

  • Bark Color

    Brown, Sandy Brown, Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Fissured

  • Usage

    Feature Plant, Shade Trees, Street Trees

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No