Kentucky coffee tree
Graves, Arthur H. Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, New Haven, Connecticut.
Davis, Kenneth P. School of Forestry, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.
Last reviewed:January 2020
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
A large, strikingly distinct tree, Gymnocladus dioica. The Kentucky coffee tree usually grows to a height of 80–90 ft (24–27 m), but sometimes attains a height of 110 ft (33 m) and a diameter of 5 ft (1.5 m). The species name, dioica, means that the tree is dioecious; that is, male and female flowers are on different individuals. It grows from eastern Nebraska, Kansas, and Oklahoma to southern Ontario, western New York, and Pennsylvania, and southwestward to Louisiana. It can be recognized readily when in fruit by its leguminous pods, which contain hard, heavy, red-brown seeds (Fig. 1), which were used by early settlers as a substitute for coffee—hence the name coffee tree. The branches are stout and thick, and the bark has thin, twisted ridges. The leaves are twice pinnate, and the winter buds, sunken in the bark, are superposed, two or three together (Fig. 2). Never a common tree, it is cultivated sometimes in parks and gardens of the eastern United States and northern and central Europe. It is used occasionally as a street tree. The wood is hard and reddish, and is used for construction. It is durable in contact with the soil and is used also for railroad ties and fence posts. The Janka hardness for the Kentucky coffee tree is 1390 lb-force (630 kg-force); its density is 37 lb/ft3 (593 kg/m3). See also: Fabales; Forest and forestry; Tree
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Contributors include more than 10,000 highly qualified scientists and 46 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8700 articles covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 19,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information