Alphabetical Plant Listing

Robinia hispida (Bristly Locust)

Bristly Locust, Standing Sweet Pea, Rose Acacia, Moss Locust, Robinia hispida 'Rosea'


Robinia hispida (Bristly Locust) is a vigorous, suckering deciduous shrub with bristly branches bearing compound, alternate, densely hairy leaves divided into 7-19 oval leaflets. Most leaves have a pair of long spines at their base. Dark to light pink pea-like flowers appear in showy pendulous clusters, 2-4 in. long (5-10 cm), in late spring to early summer. Clustered in the leaf axils, they may be followed by bristly, purple seed pods, 3 in. long (7 cm). Native to the southeastern United States, Bristly Locust spreads abundantly by suckering, and as such, is useful as a hedge or screen and for reclaiming eroded sites. Useful in stabilizing dry, sandy areas, it needs protection from wind and is vulnerable to breakage. Its branches are susceptible to damage from heavy winter snows and ice storms.

  • Grows up to 2-10 ft. tall (60-300 cm) and 5-15 ft. wide (140-450 cm).
  • Performs best in full sun in moderately fertile, dry to medium, well-drained soils. Tolerates light shade and a wide range of soils, including poor dry soils. Good drought tolerance once established. Shelter from strong winds, as the branches are brittle.
  • Good for sunny city gardens, coastal gardens, cottage gardens, shrub borders or wall-side borders. Can make a lovely hedge or screen.
  • Keep an eye out for borers, leaf spot, powdery mildew, canker, scale and leaf miner. Deer resistant
  • Prune in mid-late summer to prevent bleeding. Remove suckers in fall.
  • Propagate by seed in containers in a cold frame in autumn. Propagate by root cuttings, or propagate by grafting in winter.
  • Robinia hispida is native to the southeastern United States, but is considered invasive in the state of Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Washington.
  • All parts may cause severe discomfort if ingested

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Requirements

Hardiness 6 – 11
Heat Zones 6 – 12
Plant Type Shrubs
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early)
Height 2' – 10' (60cm – 3m)
Spread 5' – 15' (150cm – 4.5m)
Water Needs Low, Average
Maintenance Average
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Wisconsin, Northeast, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Pacific Northwest, Oregon, Washington, Rocky Mountains, Utah, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Deer, Drought, Dry Soil, Rocky Soil
Garden Uses Banks and Slopes, Beds and Borders, Hedges and Screens, Wall-Side Borders
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Coastal Garden, Informal and Cottage

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Filip Viranovski, Ihor Hvozdetskyi, Shutterstock

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 6 – 11
Heat Zones 6 – 12
Plant Type Shrubs
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early)
Height 2' – 10' (60cm – 3m)
Spread 5' – 15' (150cm – 4.5m)
Water Needs Low, Average
Maintenance Average
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Wisconsin, Northeast, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Pacific Northwest, Oregon, Washington, Rocky Mountains, Utah, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Deer, Drought, Dry Soil, Rocky Soil
Garden Uses Banks and Slopes, Beds and Borders, Hedges and Screens, Wall-Side Borders
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Coastal Garden, Informal and Cottage

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