black locust Fabaceae Robinia pseudoacacia
Leaf:Alternate, pinnately compound, with 7 to 19 leaflets, 8 to 14 inches long. Leaflets are oval, one inch long, with entire margins. Leaves resemble sprigs of grapes; green above and paler below.
Flower:Perfect, showy and fragrant, white, 1 inch long and pea-like, borne in long (5 inches) hanging clusters, appear in mid to late spring.
Fruit:Flattened legume, light brown, 2 to 4 inches long; containing 4 to 8 kidney-shaped, smooth, red-brown seeds, ripen in the fall.
Twig:Zigzag, somewhat stout and angular, red-brown in color, numerous lighter lenticels. Paired spines at each leaf scar (often absent on older or slow growing twigs); buds are submerged beneath the leaf scar.
Bark:Gray or light brown, thick and fibrous, heavily ridged and furrowed, resembles a woven rope.
Form:A medium sized tree to 70 feet, with a relatively straight trunk and a crown of crooked branches. Often forms thickets by root suckering.