Gymnocladus dioica (G. dioicus) Kentucky coffeetree Caesalpiniaceae GYDI*; Bx, br, pb; NY, iw; Q; R;



Gymnocladus dioica.leaf.© 2008.Fontenelle Nature (Accessed 1/2017).

Gymnocladus dioica is a tree to 30 m tall, twigs very stout, often whitish, leaf scars large, shield-shaped, buds silky, pith pinkish (Petrides 1988). 

Leaves alternate, twice pinnately compound, often nearly 1 m long, 3-6 pairs pinnae, leaflets to 8 cm long, 4 cm wide, margins entire, sometimes the lower pinnae replaced by leaflets. 

Flowers greenish- white, regular, softly hairy, about 2 cm wide, in branched clusters to 20 cm long at ends of stems. 


Gymnocladus dioica.fruit.© Roland E. Barth.Fontenelle Nature (Accessed 1/2017).

Fruit pod to 25 cm long, 5 cm wide, thick, flat, turning blackish-brown, persistent into winter or spring; seeds to 1.5 cm, hard. Seed dispersal; see Gleditsia triacanthos. 

Wetland status: NL. 

Frequency in New York City: Infrequent. 

Origin: Native to small area of south-central NYS. 

Habitat: Escaped from cultivation. Appears shade tolerant and colonial from root sprouts (Gargiullo personal observation). Tolerates soil pH 6-8 (USDA, NRCS 2010).