#43 - Kentucky Coffee-Tree (Gymnocladus dioicus)

  • Latin Name: Gymnocladus dioicus
  • Taxonomy: Angiosperm, Fabaceae
  • Bark Description:
    Thick, hard, deeply fissured with scaly or sharp horny ridges curling out at their edges; dark gray.
  • Leaf Appearance:
    Alternate, twice pinnately compound; leaflets 40 or more, ovate, 1-3” long, entire margins. Green above; paler green beneath. Autumn color yellow.
  • Environmental/Economic Facts:
    Traditionally, Native Americans used the caramel-like pulp to treat “lunacy.” Currently, the seeds are used as a coffee. Ecologically, the leaves are a fly poison. The Kentucky Coffee-Tree can be distinguished from other trees by its huge leaves that are twice compound.
  • Flowering Time: June
  • Fruiting Time: Autumn