Black Locust
Robinia pseudo-acacia
Family Leguminosae

* Leaves compound, 6-12", with 6-20 egg-shaped leaflets.
* Thorns at the base of leaf stalks.
* Twigs stout, hairless, with white, hairy buds.
* Mature bark dark, ridged, with cross-hatched pattern of furrows.
* Flowers white, clustered, fragrant.
* Fruits 2-6", long flat pods.
* Height: Can grow up to 80'.

Natural History:
* Flowers May - June.
* Fruits September - April.
* Habitat: Sunny edges of woods and fields.
* Range: Eastern United States.
* Native.

* William Strachey recalls the origin of the common name 'locust'; he calls the plant "...a kynd of low tree, which beares a cod like to the peas, but nothing so big; we take yt to be locust."
-William Strachey, Historie of Travaile into Virginia Brittanica, 1610.

* The black locust was eagerly sought after and cultivated in Europe after being introduced (by members of the Robin family of France, hence the genus Robinia) from North America. Its incredibly hard, strong wood is the most durable of American hardwoods.

* Locust wood was used to make nails for naval ships; the British held that their defeat on Lake Champlain during the war of 1812 was partially due to the strength of the nails on American vessels.


Created by: Allaire Diamond and Jiasuey Hsu
Maintained by: Nick Rodenhouse
Created: July 31, 1998
Last Modified: November 21, 2008