Here is a snippet from Adam's Blog. Click the link at the bottom to read it all. Reference links are provided by the author.
Gleditsia is a legume tree, very characteristic for its turfs of thorns growing straight from the trunk and branches of the tree, but there are thornless cultivars (Gleditsia triacanthos var. inermis) as well. This tree genus can be found as a part of wild flora in many regions of south and east of Asia, both Americas and Africa. Like with many other plants, botanists that have been pioneering Linneus binomial system, have left big mess in this genus. There are few species, that in my opinion differ only by different people that named it. Different botanists from different countries have been naming plants, often without even seeing it in its natural habitat, judging by single example. And probably most of them desperate to ''discover'' and give names to more plants than their colleagues. Todays internet era of botany have oportunity and responsibility to clean this mess. So please prove me wrong if You can, but according to my researches there is no significant differences ( bigger than those betwen plants with same parents growing in different conditions ) in apperance betwen what is claimed to be Gleditsia triacanthos L. and Gleditsia sinensis Lam.. First is said to be of central North American origin and second with Chinese ancestry. ......Read more here->
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