Black Locust

Black Locust  aka Flase Acacia, Common Locust, Yellow Locust

Robina pseudoacacia

Classification

  • Clade: Eudicots
  • Order: Pea
  • Family: Pea (Fabaceae)
  • Subfamily: Pea (Hedysarum)
  • Tribe: Licorice tribe (Galegeae) (Includes Locust Tribe)

Leaf Black Locast Robina pseudoacacia

  • pinnately compound with 9-19 leaflets
  • hairless
  • oval
  • smooth edges
  • 20 -30 cm (8-14″)
  • leaflets are 2.5 cm long (1.5″)
  • notched at apex
  • fold during the night
  • alternate

Fall Foliage

  • yellow

Flower

  • typical pea family flowers are irregular with 5 petals named the banner (single petal with 2 lobes), 2 wings, and keel (2 fused together petals)
  • 5 united sepals
  • racemes (hanging/drooping chain) 12-20 cm in length
  • 3/4″ flowers in 8″ clusters/chains
  • mid to late June-July
  • fragrant
  • white

Buds

  • naked
  • hidden within petiole

Twig

  • buds hidden under the leaf scar between spines
  • leaf scar has 3 irregular cracks
  • paired spines at nodes
  • zig-zag
  • hairless
  • reddish-brown
  • pith present

Shoot

  • ribbed, grooves

Spines

  • most buds have paired spines

Bark

  • smooth
  • deep grooves/fissures/furrows/forking ridges
  • light gray to light brown
  • rope-like texture

Branches

  • sometimes crooked

Height

  • 20-30 m (40-60′)

Crown

  • open
  • allows passage of light
  • rounded
  • irregular

Bole

  • short
  • fluted

Fruit

  • pod (legume)
  • brown to black
  • flat
  • splits along a seam when ripe
  • straight edges (not curvy/wavy/twisted)
  • 4″, most are not over 8″ in length (5-10 cm)
  • light
  • thin walled
  • rounded to pointed at end
  • seeds within pod are kidney-shaped (reniform)
  • seeds are less than 0.25″ in length
  • seeds are reddish-orange

Edible Parts

  • some sources report that the seeds are poisonous
  • may be edible after boiling
  • seeds: acidic, oil rich
  • Leaves and bark are poisonous

 Habitat

  • rocky areas
  • sandy areas
  • open areas
  • woods

 

Range:

  • Eastern United States
  • Planted as ornamental in Canadian Maritimes (has naturalized in some areas)

Other Characterisitics

  • may form suckers from roots
  • rot-resistant wood (fence posts, grapevine stakes, railroad ties)
  • introduced to Europe in 1600 (North American Native)

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