Robinia pseudoacacia (Black Locust, Yellow Locust, False Acacia) is a deciduous tree native to the southeastern United States. It belongs to the Fabaceae family, which includes legume plants.
Black Locust is known for its distinctive compound leaves, fragrant flowers, and durable wood. It typically grows to a height of 30 to 70 feet (9 to 21 meters) and has a narrow, upright form. The bark is dark and deeply furrowed, adding visual interest to the tree's appearance.
The leaves of Black Locust are pinnately compound, consisting of several small leaflets arranged along a central stem. The leaflets are elliptical or ovate in shape and have a smooth or slightly serrated margin. The foliage provides a delicate, lacy texture to the tree's canopy.
In late spring to early summer, Black Locust produces clusters of highly fragrant, white flowers. These flowers are rich in nectar and attract bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. The flowers are followed by seed pods that contain small, oval-shaped seeds.
Black Locust is valued for its durable wood, which is resistant to decay and insect damage. It has been used in various applications, including fence posts, outdoor furniture, and construction material. However, it can be prone to forming suckers and may require maintenance to control its growth.
This tree is adaptable to a variety of soil conditions, including sandy or clay soils, but it prefers well-drained soil. It thrives in full sun and can tolerate drought once established. Black Locust is known for its ability to fix nitrogen in the soil through nodules on its roots, contributing to soil fertility.