The New International Encyclopædia/Gymnocladus
GYMNOCLADUS, jĭm-nŏk′lȧ-dŭs (Neo-Lat., from Gk. γυμνὀς, gymnos, naked + κλάδος, klados, branch). A genus of trees of the natural order Leguminosæ. Gymnocladus Canadensis is a North American tree, found in rich bottom soils from Canada and the Eastern United States as far south as Tennessee and west to Indian Territory and Nebraska. It attains a height of 50 to 60 feet in cultivation, or 75 to 100 feet when growing wild. It is remarkable for its upright branches and its exceedingly rough bark. The leaves of young trees are very large, and bipinnate. The flowers are white in short spikes. The pods are 5 inches long and 2 inches broad. The tree is called chicot in China, and sometimes stump-tree, from its dead appearance in winter, and the absence of conspicuous buds. It is one of the last trees to put out its leaves, which are very ornamental when young. Its common name, Kentucky coffee-tree, was applied because its seeds were formerly washed and ground as coffee in Kentucky. The wood is used both by cabinetmakers and carpenters. It has very little sapwood. The pods, preserved like those of the tamarind, are said to be wholesome and slightly aperient. A second species, Gymnocladus Chinensis, occurring in the east of Asia, is a smaller tree. See Plate of Ginkgo.