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 Kentucky's Theodore Klein Plant Award 2014

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Gymnocladus dioicus - TKPA 2014

2014 Theodore Klein Plant Award WinnersGymnofolg

Gymnocladus dioicus - Kentucky Coffee Tree is the State Tree of Kentucky and a great choice known for its aesthetic coarse winter habit and beautiful bark. It is native to the central and eastern United States; but Ronald Jones in Plant Life of Kentucky reports it infrequent. It blooms in the spring and the results of those blooms can be the noticeable seed pods that hang from the tree in winter and drop to the ground. I once overheard Mike Dirr commenting on eating the sweet gummy substance that is found in the seed pods (he mentions this in the Manual also). But the leaves and seeds are reported to be poisonous. The large leaves can create a tropical-look useful in Zoos and parks. It is a member of the Fabaceae - Legume family. There are male cultivars that would reduce the seed pod litter problem; J. Frank Schmidt's Expresso™ and Heritage's Prairie Titan® (J.C. McDaniel, UI). (images habit, bark, seed Win Dunwell & leaf, Paul Cappiello)

FOR-8 by Deborah B. Hill and William M. Fountain


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