Black Locust

Scientific Name:

Robinia pseudoacacia

Type:

Tree

Habitat:

Forests, shrublands, and grasslands

Range:

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

Status:

Least Concern (IUCN Red List)

This species is

NON-NATIVE

to the Truckee Meadows.

Identification:

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.

Sources:

Contributor(s):

Haley McGuire (research & content)

Alex Shahbazi (edits & page design)

Last Updated:

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