(Gleditsia macracantha)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Gleditsia macracantha
Leguminosae

A soap substitute is obtained from the seedpods[46, 61, 109].

Wood – strong, durable, coarse-grained[82].

  • Medicinal Use

    The twigs and the leaves contain the alkaloids gleditschine and stenocarpine[4]. Stenocarpine has been used as a local anaesthetic whilst gleditschine causes stupor and loss of reflex activity[4].

  • Edible Use

    None known

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – pre-soak for 24 hours in warm water and then sow in spring in a greenhouse[78]. 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[78]. 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.
Easily grown in a loamy soil, requiring a sunny position[11]. Succeeds in most soils[200] including sandy ones[188]. Tolerates drought once established[1] and atmospheric pollution[200]. Rather tender when young, it grows best in S. Britain[11]. Trees have a light canopy, they come into leaf late in the spring and drop their leaves in early autumn[200] making them an excellent top storey tree in a woodland garden. The flowers have a delightful vanilla fragrance[245]. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[200]. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[200].
E. Asia – China.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.