Family: Fabaceae, pea family
Genus, species: Robinia pseudo-acacia
Leaves are pinnately compound. Each leaf has 7 to 19 leaflets. Leaflets are elliptical in shape, smooth (untoothed) edges. Leaflets are larger and rounder compared to honey locust leaflets. Each leaf has a pair of short thorns at the base.
Bark is light gray, deeply furrowed with long rough forking ridges.
Flowers are fragrant, white, pea-shaped, grouped in showy drooping clusters.
Fruit is a long flat pod, dark brown, 2 to 4 inches long.
Seeds are dark brown, flat, beanlike.
Roots contain nitrogen-fixing bacteria.
Common Uses and Interesting Facts:
Black locust wood is extremely hard, rot-resistant, durable. Bark and leaves are toxic.
The genus name Robinia is named for Jean Robin (1550-1629) and Vesparian Robin (1579-1600), herbalists and gardeners for Henry VI of France. The species name pseudo-acacia, pseudo- is from the Greek for "false" and -acacia is from the Greek for "thorn."