LOCUST

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LOCUST (gleditschia tnacanthos). This lofty and beautiful tree seems to belong, properly, to the region west of the Alleghany mountains, occurring, however, within the valleys of those mountains; but on approaching the Atlantic coast, it entirely disappears, except in the vicinity of habitations, where it is frequently planted for the sake of ornament. It belongs to the natural family leguminosa. The leaves are pinnated, divided into numerous small leaflets, which give a light and veiy elegant appearance to the foliage ; the flowers are greenish and inconspicuous, and are succeeded by long, flat, pendulous, and often twisted pods, containing the large brown seeds, enveloped in a pulp, which, when arrived at maturity, is extremely sweet. This tree is especially remarkable for its formidable branching thorns, frequently growing to the length of several inches, on which account it has been recommended for hedges. The wood resembles that of the locust, but is coarser grained, and, notwithstanding its excessive hardness when well seasoned, is but little esteemed. The G. monosperma, a tree inferior in dimensions to the preceding, and distinguished by its pods, containing a single seed, inhabits also the Western States, but it is a more southern plant, and reaches the Atlantic in lower Carolina and Georgia. The wood is inferior in quality. A third species (G. brachycarpa) inhabits the same countries with the preceding.