Alphabetical Plant Listing

Robinia pseudoacacia (Black Locust)

Black Locust, Common Robinia, False Acacia, Bastard Acacia, Fragrant White Locust, Locust, Yellow Locust


Fast-growing, Robinia pseudoacacia (Black Locust) is a spreading, suckering, deciduous tree boasting attractive compound leaves and pendulous racemes of scented pea-like flowers. The dark blue-green leaves comprise 5-11 pairs of oval leaflets, which turn yellow in the fall, before shedding to the ground. As the leaves fall, they reveal the beautiful, deeply furrowed rough bark. Dense, pendant clusters of fragrant white flowers, 8 in. long (20 cm), appear in late spring and early summer. Attractive to honeybees and hummingbirds, they are followed in fall by smooth, flat, purple-brown seed pods. Black Locust provides food and structural habitat for a variety of wildlife species. In its native range, Black lLocust provides nesting cavities for birds, including hairy woodpeckers, downy woodpeckers, northern flickers and red-bellied woodpeckers.

  • Grows as a broadly columnar single trunk tree, with a narrow oblong crown, or in suckering thickets. Can reach 30-50 ft. in height (9-15 m) and 20-35 ft. in spread (6-10 m). This tree spreads by self-seeding and root suckers. Promptly remove suckers unless naturalization is desired.
  • Performs best in full sun in dry to medium, well-drained soils. Tolerates light shade and a wide range of soils, including poor dry soils or clay soils. Good drought tolerance once established.
  • A great tree for difficult areas where other trees will not grow well. However, use this tree with care. It is often considered an invasive species and a garden thug because it spreads very rapidly by root sprouts and by the copious seeds it produces.
  • Generally pest and disease free. Deer resistant
  • Pruning should be done in late summer or early fall to prevent bleeding; sucker removal if necessary, in fall.
  • Propagate by seed or from root cuttings or from suckers.
  • Robinia pseudoacacia is native to the Southern Appalachians, the Ozarks, and other portions of the Midsouth, but is considered an invasive species in the prairie and savanna regions of the Midwest where it can dominate and shade those open habitats.
  • Discover beautiful U.S. native plant alternatives.
  • All parts may cause severe discomfort if ingested

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Requirements

Hardiness 4 – 9
Heat Zones 3 – 9
Climate Zones 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Trees
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early)
Fall
Height 30' – 50' (9m – 15m)
Spread 20' – 35' (6m – 10.5m)
Water Needs Low, Average
Maintenance Average
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy
Native Plants United States, California, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Northeast, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Pacific Northwest, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Rocky Mountains, Colorado, Montana, Utah, Wyoming, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Clay Soil, Deer, Drought, Dry Soil
Attracts Birds, Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Garden Styles Prairie and Meadow

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123RF Stock Photo, 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 4 – 9
Heat Zones 3 – 9
Climate Zones 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Trees
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early)
Fall
Height 30' – 50' (9m – 15m)
Spread 20' – 35' (6m – 10.5m)
Water Needs Low, Average
Maintenance Average
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy
Native Plants United States, California, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Northeast, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Pacific Northwest, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Rocky Mountains, Colorado, Montana, Utah, Wyoming, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Clay Soil, Deer, Drought, Dry Soil
Attracts Birds, Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Garden Styles Prairie and Meadow

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