The honey locust, Gleditsia triacanthos, can reach a height of 20–30 m (66–98 ft), with fast growth, and is relatively short-lived, having a life span of about 120 years. The leaves are pinnately compound on older trees but bipinnately compound on vigorous young trees. The leaflets are 1. 5–2. 5 cm (5⁄8–1 in) (smaller on bipinnate leaves) and bright green. They turn yellow in the fall (autumn). Honey locusts leaf out relatively late in spring, but generally slightly earlier than the black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia). The strongly scented cream-colored flowers appear in late spring, in clusters emerging from the base of the leaf axils.
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