Black Locust

Scientific Name:

Robinia pseudoacacia




Forests, shrublands, and grasslands


Native to the southeastern United States, cultivated and naturalized in temperate habitats around the world


Least Concern (IUCN Red List)

This species is


to the Truckee Meadows.


Black locusts are deciduous trees that usually grow between 30 and 72 feet tall. They have compound leaves (where multiple leaflets are attached to a single stem) that can have up to 19 leaflets. Black locusts' branches are a red-brown color. These trees have pairs of small spikes at the base of each leaf.

Fast Facts:

  • Black locusts are members of the Fabaceae (or pea) taxonomic family, along with plants such as garden peas, peanuts, and mesquite.

  • While cultivated around the world, black locusts' native range follows the Appalachian Mountains from Pennsylvania to Alabama, with a secondary population in the Ozark mountains.

  • Because of their hard, durable wood, black locusts are often utilized for fencing, mine timbers, and railroad ties.



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