Legume Family

Kentucky Coffee Tree

Gymnocladus dioicus


This tree grows to be seventy-five to one-hundred feet in height. Its name comes from the fact that early pioneers in Kentucky made a bitter drink from its seeds. North American Indians roasted and ate the seeds. The pulp between the seeds is poisonous. The bark has furrows and ridges. The thick twigs are scaly.

Leaves are from seventeen to thirty-six inches long and twice compounded. The wood is strong and coarse.

Resources compiled by Dr. Loretta Kuse