Robinia Species, Black Locust, False Acacia

Robinia pseudoacacia

Family: Fabaceae (fab-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Robinia (roh-BIN-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: pseudoacacia (soo-doh-a-KAY-see-uh) (Info)
Synonym:Robinia pringlei
Synonym:Robinia pseudacacia
Synonym:Robinia pseudoacacia var. rectissima



Water Requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Grown for foliage



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Seed is poisonous if ingested

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Flowers are fragrant

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Midland City, Alabama

Morrilton, Arkansas

Escondido, California

San Leandro, California

Tustin, California

Walnut Creek, California

Champaign, Illinois

Wheaton, Illinois

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

Downingtown, Pennsylvania

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Clarksville, Tennessee

Lubbock, Texas

Magna, Utah

Winchester, Virginia

Brady, Washington

Montesano, Washington

Belington, West Virginia

Falling Waters, West Virginia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Apr 17, 2015, Louis_C from Escondido, CA wrote:

I found this easy to germinate. I sowedtwo time. Once in 1-gal and another time in smaller flower pot. I got 2 out of 3 from flower pot and zero from 1-gal probably because the later one I placed on ground and visited by pillbugs troops.

The seedlings has some mite damage but I has confidence they will thrive.


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 sc... read more


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.


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.


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!


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."


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.


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.


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.


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.


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

I find this tree to be rather invasive.


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.


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'.