Earth–Kind® Plant Selector Home
Start a Search

Common Name:

Thornless Common Honeylocust

Scientific Name:

Gleditsia triacanthos var. inermis

Family Name:

Leguminosae (Fabaceae)


The Thornless Common Honeylocust is a medium to large deciduous shade tree popular for its vase-shaped, stratified branching, filtered shade, and soft-textured summer foliage and yellow fall color. Once planted as a replacement for the Dutch Elm Disease killed American Elms, but pests and diseases are beginning to aflict this species as well. The large pods can be a maintanence liability. The species type (Gleditsia triacanthos var. triacanthos) has large fierce thorns and is not planted in landscapes.

Plant Habit or Use:

Medium tree, large tree



Flower Color:


Blooming Period:


Fruit Characteristics:

Large 6 inch to 18 inch twisted flattened pods


30 ft to 50 ft in Texas landscapes, to 100 ft+ in more favorable climates


20 ft to 40 ft

Earth–Kind® Index:

  • Heat Tolerance: High Heat Tolerance
  • Water Requirements: Low Water Use
  • Soil Requirements: Low Soil Requirements
  • Pest Tolerance: Low Pest Resistance
  • Fertility Requirements: Low Fertility Requirements
Explanation of the Earth–Kind® Index breakdown

Firewise Index

Explanation of the Firewise Index numerical value

USDA Hardiness Zones:

4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Regions that intersect these hardiness zones:
Region A - Panhandle and High Plains Region B - North and Central Texas Region C - Northeast and East Texas Region D - West Texas Region E - Upper Rio Grande Region F - Hill Country and Central Coast Region G - Southeast Texas Region H - Rio Grande Valley
Click image for enlarged map of USDA Hardiness Zones

Additional Comments:

Selection from the northern portion of the species' range are not particularly vigorous in USDA zones 8 and 9; subject to similar disease problems as the species type.
Click for Larger View

A Special Note about Cool Season Annuals

Cool season annuals typically are planted in the fall or early winter and flower in early spring under moderate temperatures. This group of plant materials includes: pansies, snapdragons, violas, dianthus, flowering cabbage/kale, etc. Because cool season annuals flower in the spring when conditions are mild, most have limited heat tolerance.

As a result cool season annuals do not receive a high Earth–Kind® index despite their outstanding landscape qualities.