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Toxic parts

All parts of the plant (except the flowers) and especially the bark, should be considered to be toxic[1][2][3]. The toxins are destroyed by heat[2].

Edible uses


Seed - cooked[4][5][6]. Oily[7]. They are boiled and used like peas[8]. After boiling the seeds lose their acid taste[9]. The seed is about 4mm long and is produced in pods up to 10cm long that contain 4 - 8 seeds[10]. A nutritional analysis is available[11].

Young seedpods - cooked[12]. The pods contain a sweetish pulp that is safe to eat and is relished by small children[13].(This report is quite probably mistaken, having been confused with the honey locust, Gleditsia spp[K].) A strong, narcotic and intoxicating drink is made from the skin of the fruit[14]. Piperonal is extracted from the plant, it is used as a vanilla substitute[12]. No further details. All the above entries should be treated with some caution, see the notes at the top of the page regarding toxicity.

Flowers - cooked. A fragrant aroma, they are used in making jams and pancakes[15][8]. They can also be made into a pleasant drink[8].

Unknown part



Material uses

A drying oil is obtained from the seed[4][15].

An essential oil is obtained from the flowers. Highly valued, it is used in perfumery[15][16][17]. A yellow dye is obtained from the bark[18]. Robinetin is a strong dyestuff yielding with different mordants different shades similar to those obtained with fisetin, quercetin, and myricetin; with aluminum mordant, it dyes cotton to a brown-orange shade[19]. The bark contains tannin, but not in sufficient quantity for utilization[18]. On a 10% moisture basis, the bark contains 7.2% tannin and the heartwood of young trees 5.7%[18]. The bark is used to make paper and is a substitute for silk and wool[14]. Trees sucker freely, especially if coppiced, and they can be used for stabilizing banks etc[20][21].

Wood - close-grained, exceedingly hard, heavy, very strong, resists shock and is very durable in contact with the soil. It weighs 45lb per cubic foot and is used in shipbuilding and for making fence posts, treenails, floors etc[1][15][22][14][23][6][10][24][25][26]. A very good fuel[10], but it should be used with caution because it flares up and projects sparks[21]. The wood of Robinia pseudoacacia var. rectissima, the so called 'Long Island' or 'Shipmast' locust, has a greater resistance to decay and wood borers, outlasting other locust posts and stakes by 50 - 100%[19].

Unknown part

Medicinal uses(Warning!)


The flowers are antispasmodic, aromatic, diuretic, emollient and laxative[11]. They are cooked and eaten for the treatment of eye ailments[11]. The flower is said to contain the antitumor compound benzoaldehyde[19]. The inner bark and the root bark are emetic, purgative and tonic[1][15][11][27]. The root bark has been chewed to induce vomiting, or held in the mouth to allay toothache[28][27], though it is rarely if ever prescribed as a therapeutic agent in Britain[1]. The fruit is narcotic[14]. This probably refers to the seedpod.

The leaves are cholagogue and emetic[15]. The leaf juice inhibits viruses[11].


Ecosystem niche/layer


Ecological Functions

Earth stabiliser

Nitrogen fixer


Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


Seed - pre-soak for 48 hours in warm water and sow the seed in late winter in a cold frame[29]. A short stratification improves germination rates and time[29]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in the following summer. Other reports say that the seed can be sown in an outdoor seedbed in spring[30][31]. The seed stores for over 10 years[32]. Suckers taken during the dormant season.

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Robinia pseudoacacia. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.


Succeeds in any well-drained soil, preferring one that is not too rich[33][20]. Succeeds in dry barren sites, tolerating drought and atmospheric pollution[34][20]. Succeeds in a hot dry position. The plant is reported to tolerate an annual precipitation in the range of 61 to 191cm, an annual temperature in the range of 7.6 to 20.3°C and a pH of 6.0 to 7.0[19].

A fast-growing tree for the first 30 years of its life[35][19], it can begin to flower when only 6 years old, though 10 - 12 years is more normal[36]. The flowers are a rich source of nectar and are very fragrant[10] with a vanilla-like scent[37]. The branches are brittle and very liable to wind damage[20]. When plants are grown in rich soils they produce coarse and rank growth which is even more liable to wind damage[22][20]. The plants sucker freely and often form dense thickets, the suckers have vicious thorns[21]. There are some named varieties selected for their ornamental value[35], some of these are thornless[21]. Any pruning should be done in late summer in order to reduce the risk of bleeding[20]. The leaves are rich in tannin and other substances which inhibit the growth of other plants[14]. A very greedy tree, tending to impoverish the soil[14]. (Although a legume, I believe it does not fix atmospheric nitrogen[K]) A very good bee plant[15][14][38][13].

This species is notably resistant to honey fungus[39][20].


Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Robinia pseudoacacia. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Robinia pseudoacacia.




None listed.


None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Binomial name
Robinia pseudoacacia
Imported References
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
full sun
no shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
  • Drought
Native Climate Zones
None listed.
Adapted Climate Zones
None listed.
Native Geographical Range
None listed.
Native Environment
None listed.
Ecosystem Niche
Root Zone Tendancy
None listed.
Deciduous or Evergreen
Herbaceous or Woody
Life Cycle
Growth Rate
Mature Size
Flower Colour
Flower Type

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"image:Robinia pseudacacia11.JPEG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Robinia pseudacacia11.JPEG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

"image:Robinia pseudacacia11.JPEG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

"image:Robinia pseudacacia11.JPEG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

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  1. ? Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984-00-00)
  2. ? 2.02.1 Frohne. D. and Pf?nder. J. A Colour Atlas of Poisonous Plants. Wolfe ISBN 0723408394 (1984-00-00)
  3. ? Cooper. M. and Johnson. A. Poisonous Plants in Britain and their Effects on Animals and Man. HMSO ISBN 0112425291 (1984-00-00)
  4. ? Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World. Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-20459-6 (1972-00-00)
  5. ? 5.05.1 Harris. B. C. Eat the Weeds. Pivot Health (1973-00-00)
  6. ? Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (1974-00-00)
  7. ? 7.07.1 Yanovsky. E. Food Plants of the N. American Indians. Publication no. 237. U.S. Depf of Agriculture. ()
  8. ? Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
  9. ? 9.09.1 Weiner. M. A. Earth Medicine, Earth Food. Ballantine Books ISBN 0-449-90589-6 (1980-00-00)
  10. ? Sargent. C. S. Manual of the Trees of N. America. Dover Publications Inc. New York. ISBN 0-486-20278-X (1965-00-00)
  11. ? Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S. Medicinal Plants of China Reference Publications, Inc. ISBN 0-917256-20-4 (1985-00-00)
  12. ? Tanaka. T. Tanaka's Cyclopaedia of Edible Plants of the World. Keigaku Publishing (1976-00-00)
  13. ? Allardice.P. A - Z of Companion Planting. Cassell Publishers Ltd. ISBN 0-304-34324-2 (1993-00-00)
  14. ? 14.0014.0114.0214.0314.0414.0514.0614.0714.0814.0914.10 Triska. Dr. Hamlyn Encyclopaedia of Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-33545-3 (1975-00-00)
  15. ? Chiej. R. Encyclopaedia of Medicinal Plants. MacDonald ISBN 0-356-10541-5 (1984-00-00)
  16. ? 16.016.1 Schery. R. W. Plants for Man. ()
  17. ? 17.017.1 Polunin. O. Flowers of Europe - A Field Guide. Oxford University Press ISBN 0192176218 (1969-00-00)
  18. ? Rottsieper. E.H.W. Vegetable Tannins The Forestal Land, Timber and Railways Co. Ltd. (1946-00-00)
  19. ? Duke. J. Handbook of Energy Crops - (1983-00-00)
  20. ? Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
  21. ? Lauriault. J. Identification Guide to the Trees of Canada Fitzhenry and Whiteside, Ontario. ISBN 0889025649 (1989-00-00)
  22. ? Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement. Murray (1981-00-00)
  23. ? Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
  24. ? 24.024.1 Vines. R. A. Trees of Central Texas. University of Texas Press ISBN 0-292-78958-3 (1987-00-00)
  25. ? 25.025.1 Hill. A. F. Economic Botany. The Maple Press (1952-00-00)
  26. ? 26.026.1 Vines. R.A. Trees of North Texas University of Texas Press. ISBN 0292780206 (1982-00-00)
  27. ? Moerman. D. Native American Ethnobotany Timber Press. Oregon. ISBN 0-88192-453-9 (1998-00-00)
  28. ? 28.028.1 Foster. S. & Duke. J. A. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants. Eastern and Central N. America. Houghton Mifflin Co. ISBN 0395467225 (1990-00-00)
  29. ? 29.029.1 McMillan-Browse. P. Hardy Woody Plants from Seed. Grower Books ISBN 0-901361-21-6 (1985-00-00)
  30. ? Sheat. W. G. Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers. MacMillan and Co (1948-00-00)
  31. ? Gordon. A. G. and Rowe. D. C. f. Seed Manual for Ornamental Trees and Shrubs. ()
  32. ? Dirr. M. A. and Heuser. M. W. The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation. Athens Ga. Varsity Press ISBN 0942375009 (1987-00-00)
  33. ? F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
  34. ? Hitchcock. C. L. Vascular Plants of the Pacific Northwest. University of Washington Press (1955-00-00)
  35. ? 35.035.1 Brickell. C. The RHS Gardener's Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers Dorling Kindersley Publishers Ltd. ISBN 0-86318-386-7 (1990-00-00)
  36. ? Elias. T. The Complete Trees of N. America. Field Guide and Natural History. Van Nostrand Reinhold Co. ISBN 0442238622 (1980-00-00)
  37. ? Genders. R. Scented Flora of the World. Robert Hale. London. ISBN 0-7090-5440-8 (1994-00-00)
  38. ? Riotte. L. Companion Planting for Successful Gardening. Garden Way, Vermont, USA. ISBN 0-88266-064-0 (1978-00-00)
  39. ? RHS. The Garden. Volume 112. Royal Horticultural Society (1987-00-00)
  40. ? Fernald. M. L. Gray's Manual of Botany. American Book Co. (1950-00-00)

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"image:Robinia pseudacacia11.JPEG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

Facts about "Robinia pseudoacacia"RDF feed
Article is incompleteYes +
Article requires citationsNo +
Article requires cleanupYes +
Belongs to familyLeguminosae +
Belongs to genusRobinia +
Functions asEarth stabiliser + and Nitrogen fixer +
Has common nameBlack Locust +
Has drought toleranceTolerant +
Has edible partUnknown part +, Flowers +, Seeds + and Seedpod +
Has edible useSeasoning +, Drink +, Unknown use + and Oil +
Has environmental toleranceDrought +
Has fertility typeBee +
Has flowers of typeHermaphrodite +
Has growth rateVigorous +
Has hardiness zone3 +
Has imageRobinia pseudacacia11.JPEG +
Has lifecycle typePerennial +
Has material partUnknown part +
Has material useDye +, Essential +, Fibre +, Fuel + and Wood +
Has mature height25 +
Has mature width15 +
Has medicinal partUnknown part +
Has medicinal useAntispasmodic +, Antiviral +, Aromatic +, Cholagogue +, Diuretic +, Emetic +, Emollient +, Febrifuge +, Laxative +, Narcotic +, Purgative +, Tonic + and Cancer +
Has primary imageRobinia pseudacacia11.JPEG +
Has search namerobinia pseudoacacia + and x +
Has shade toleranceNo shade +
Has soil ph preferenceAcid +, Neutral + and Alkaline +
Has soil teclayture preferenceClay +
Has soil teloamyture preferenceLoamy +
Has soil tesandyture preferenceSandy +
Has soil water retention preferenceWell drained +
Has sun preferenceFull sun +
Has taxonomy nameRobinia pseudoacacia +
Has water requirementsmoderate +
Inhabits ecosystem nicheCanopy +
Is deciduous or evergreenDeciduous +
Is herbaceous or woodyWoody +
Is taxonomy typeSpecies +
Tolerates nutritionally poor soilNo +
Uses mature size measurement unitMeters +