black locust Fabaceae Robinia
|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.
Looks like: bristly locust
- New Mexican locust
- pea tree
| Additional Range Information:
Robinia pseudoacacia is native to North America.
Range may be expanded by planting.
See states reporting black locust.
Fall Color Wood
| External Links:
Silvics of North America
USDA Plants Database
|© Copyright 2015, Virginia Tech|
Dept. of Forest Resources
and Environmental Conservation,
all rights reserved.
Photos and text by: John Seiler,
Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera,
and John Peterson