This section is from the book "Handbook Of Hardy Trees, Shrubs, And Herbaceous Plants", by W. Botting Hemsley. Also available from Amazon: Handbook of hardy trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants.
Deciduous trees often furnished with simple or branched rigid spines. Leaves bipinnate, and on the same tree simply abruptly pinnate. Flowers polygamous, small, greenish or white, in axillary clustered racemes or fascicled cymes. Pod flattened, coriaceous or somewhat fleshy. There are four or five species, from North America and temperate and tropical Asia. So named in memory of a German botanist.
1. G. triacanthos. Honey Locust. - This is the species usually seen in England. It is a handsome tall-growing tree with a large spreading top. The stem and branches are usually armed with formidable trifid thorns; but the most remarkable feature is the long thin flat twisted pendent pods. In Autumn when these are numerous they give the tree a very curious appearance. The leaves are pinnate or bipinnate, and slightly hairy. A native of North America, and perfectly hardy in this country. We must not omit to mention that there is amongst others an unarmed variety, and also a pendulous one.
2. G. monosperma syn. G. inermis. Water Locust. - Another handsome North American tree, readily distinguished from the foregoing by its 1-seeded pod, but otherwise scarcely differing from it. It is usually a smaller tree in all its parts, with less rigid thorns.
G. Sinensis, syn. G. horrida, is an eastern species of similar habit. There are several varieties of it, including an unarmed and a weeping one. The foliage is quite glabrous, and the pods similar to those of No. 1, but shorter and thicker.