Black Locust

Photo of the Tree

Native to the United States, the black locust can reach up to 99 feet (30 metres).

Its leaves are composed of 7 to 19 leaflets. On the leafstalk, two spines can be observed on the base of the leaves. The same are found beside the buds on the twigs.

Showy clusters of white fragrant flowers appear in early summer. They are even used in making fritters. The flowers also produce a honey coveted by many insects.

Its fruit is a pod between 2.8 and 4 inches long (7 and 10 cm). The pods remain on the tree during winter and contain dark, bean-like seeds. The seeds are eaten by several species of birds, as well as small mammals. They have also been used as a coffee substitute.

An interesting characteristic of the black locust is that its bark, roots and twigs are poisonous to livestock. Nevertheless, the black locust also produces several substances known for their diverse medicinal properties.

This species adapts very well to a wide variety of soils and is recommended for the reforestation of areas where other tree species cannot survive.

The black locust was introduced in vineyards and cattle-breeding regions of France in 1635.

Its good quality wood is used to make poles, parquet floors, fence posts, furniture, utensils and much more.


Flower

Photo - Leaf

Flowers, edible with white petals.

Fruit

Photo - fruit

Fruits, pod enclosing bean-like seeds, persists on tree.