Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Yellow False Acacia, Black Locust, Yellow Locust
Robinia pseudoacacia

Family: Papilionaceae (pa-pil-ee-uh-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Robinia (roh-BIN-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: pseudoacacia (soo-doh-a-KAY-see-uh) (Info)

Synonym:Robinia pseudoacacia var. pyramidalis
Synonym:Robinia pseudoacacia var. rectissima
Synonym:Robinia pseudacacia f. inermis

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

13 members have or want this plant for trade.


30-40 ft. (9-12 m)
over 40 ft. (12 m)

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Seed is poisonous if ingested
Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer

Grown for foliage

Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Flowers are fragrant

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From hardwood cuttings
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible

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There are a total of 32 photos.
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5 positives
5 neutrals
2 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral coriaceous On Feb 23, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

A thorny ornamental tree with beautiful, highly fragrant flowers in late May/early June. Long popular in Europe, here in the northeastern US it's all too often afflicted by leaf miner (which ruins the foliage) and locust borer. The prolific root suckering can be problematic in gardens. All parts are poisonous except the flowers.

This species is not considered invasive in the southwestern US, where it can make a fast-growing, moderately xeric landscape tree. It should be pruned to a single leader when young to reduce its proneness to wind damage. There are cultivars with few thorns and better flowering.

In eastern and midwestern North America, where it's planted outside its native range it can invade natural areas and displace native habitat, especially open scrub-pine/oak forests on sunny upland sites with sandy soil. It forms clonal colonies that can spread by root suckering 3-10' per year. Not native to New England.

It is illegal to trade, transport, buy, sell, or plant this species in Massachusetts. It's also on the Connecticut state invasives list.

Positive SaberLily On Jul 30, 2012, SaberLily from Winchester, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:

These trees are a fantastic native species in the Shenandoah Valley area, but not recommended for establishing elsewhere as they are invasive outside their native habitat. (In fact, they're quite prolific even here, though they have natural controlling factors that keep them manageable)

Their spring flowers smell wonderful, but they can litter a landscape with debris, especially after storms or even heavy winds and rain. Also, these trees sport some vicious thorns, so be especially careful when pruning or handling their branches.

Positive agave57 On May 17, 2012, agave57 from St. David, AZ (Zone 8a) wrote:

There are some big old Black Locust trees in Tompkin's Square Park in NYC. I don't see any thorns and they have a lot of character although they do seem to be quite brittle.

Negative CharlieCarrah On Jul 24, 2009, CharlieCarrah from Losantville, IN (Zone 6a) wrote:

I hate these trees. Granted, they smell beautiful when they flower in the spring, but my trees are very old (100+) and are prone to spew limbs all over the yard when it storms. The trees have holes in them which are very attractive to starlings who use them for nesting. Ugh. If they didn't provide so much shade around the house, I'd cut every single one of them down!

Negative distantkin On Mar 15, 2008, distantkin from Saint Cloud, MN (Zone 4b) wrote:

Black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) is considered invasive by the Minnesota DNR
"Ecological Threat:

* Invades primarily disturbed habitats, degraded wood, thickets and old fields crowding out native vegetation of prairies, oak savannas and upland forests, forming single species stands.
* It reproduces vigorously by root suckering and stump sprouting forming a common connecting root system.
* It is native to the U.S. and occurs naturally on the lower Appalachian mountain slopes. It has been extensively planted for its nitrogen-fixing qualities and its hard wood."

Positive lkz5ia On Nov 19, 2006, lkz5ia from Denison, IA (Zone 5b) wrote:

One of the most beautiful trees when in flower. Also, the foliage gives the tree a tropical appearance. If grown in a forest setting, the tree is less likely to succumb to locust borers.

Neutral frostweed On Nov 16, 2006, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Yellow False Acacia, Black Locust, Yellow Locust Robinia pseudoacacia, is native to Texas and other States.

Neutral raisedbedbob On Feb 6, 2006, raisedbedbob from Walkerton, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:

The flower clusters make outstanding fritters. In addition, an infusion made from the flowers can be combined with lemon juice, sugar and Surejell to make a pleasant jelly. The infusion is pale yellow-green and bland smelling. When the lemon juice is added, it turns pale pink and becomes somewhat aromatic. CAUTION: THE ROOTS, BARK, LEAVES AND SEEDS ARE POISINOUS.

Positive Danda99 On May 4, 2005, Danda99 from Moosic, PA (Zone 6a) wrote:

Fast grower. Wonderful smelling showy flowers...heavenly scented. Nice shade tree. Leaves dont cause much raking headaches in autumn as they are fairly small. Very picturesque tree in all seasons. Winter silhouette is very oriental in look. Common tree yet unique. Can get to 80 feet tall in a good location. Can be invasive in certain areas.

Neutral Sunshines2day On Mar 13, 2005, Sunshines2day from Lubbock, TX (Zone 7a) wrote:

I find this tree to be rather invasive.

Positive melody On Nov 11, 2004, melody from Benton, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

This tree is pretty much known world-wide in temperate zones. The hard, durable wood is used for high quality fence posts, as they do not rot easily.

Young shoots can be poisionous to livestock, but the seeds are eaten by a great number of wildlife. Pheasents and doves to rabbits and deer make use of the seeds.

Neutral smiln32 On Nov 5, 2004, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

May be grown to zone 4, according to some sources. Flowers are fragrant and appear in June. It is happy in nearly any soil conditions. Can grow to a height of 75'.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Midland City, Alabama
Morrilton, Arkansas
San Leandro, California
Tustin, California
Walnut Creek, California
Losantville, Indiana
Denison, Iowa
Benton, Kentucky
Calvert City, Kentucky
Clermont, Kentucky
Georgetown, Kentucky
Lexington, Kentucky
Louisville, Kentucky
Nicholasville, Kentucky
Salvisa, Kentucky
Temple, Maine
Cumberland, Maryland
Valley Lee, Maryland
Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts
Houghton, Michigan
Saint Cloud, Minnesota
New York City, New York
Cheshire, Oregon
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Clarksville, Tennessee
Lubbock, Texas
Magna, Utah
Winchester, Virginia
Brady, Washington
Falling Waters, West Virginia

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