Botanical Name: Gleditsia koraiensis
Synonyms: Inga timoriana DC.
Common Name: Korean Honey Locust,, Petai Keruyung, Kedawong, Kerayong
Habitat: Gleditsia koraiensis is native to E. Asia – Korea. It grows near streams in low mountain elevations.
Gleditsia koraiensis is a deciduous tree growing to 20 m (65ft 7in). It is in leaf from June to October, in flower in June, and the seeds ripen from October to December. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects.
Foliage: Its alternate, bipinnate leaves bear numerous small leaflets on it.
Flowers: Its flowers are about 2 mm in diameter, borne on a stalked pear-shaped inflorescence.
Fruits: Its fruits are green pods that contain numerous seeds, about 27 cm long.
Gleditsia koraiensis grows easily in a loamy soil, requiring a sunny position. Succeeds in most soils. Tolerates drought once established and atmospheric pollution. Trees have a light canopy, they come into leaf late in the spring and drop their leaves in early autumn making them an excellent top storey tree in a woodland garden. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby.
Seed – pre-soak for 24 hours in warm water and then sow in spring in a greenhouse. The seed should have swollen up, in which case it can be sown, if it has not swollen then soak it for another 24 hours in warm water. If this does not work then file away some of the seed coat but be careful not to damage the embryo. Further soaking should then cause the seed to swell. One it has swollen, the seed should germinate within 2 – 4 weeks at 20°c. As soon as they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual deep pots and plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer. Give the plants some protection from the cold for their first few winters outdoors.
Edible Uses: The flesh inside the mature seedpod can be eaten.
The fruit and the spines contain a number of medically active constituents including saponins and flavonoids. They are anti-inflammatory, anti-ulcer and expectorant, and have shown anti-HIV activity. They are used in Korea in the treatment of coughs, constipation and liver diseases. They should not be used by pregnant women since they have a stimulant effect upon the uterus and could induce a miscarriage.
Other Uses : Wood – strong, durable, coarse-grained.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.