Black Locust

Black locust is a deciduous shrub or medium-sized tree that loses its leaves in the winter. Each leaf is divided into seven to 25 leaflets arranged in pairs, and the leaves are 8 to 14 inches long. Fragrant white spring flowers bloom in long, drooping clusters and are followed by 4-inch-long brown seedpods.

The roots of Black Locust tend to remain near the soil surface, spreading laterally. It thrives in moist, rich limestone soils. Suckers, or root sprouts, spread readily from both stump and roots, especially after being cut or damaged.


Black Locust is most troublesome along the East Coast of the United States in areas where it is native.

Related or Similar Plants

Other species of Robinia, including ornamental types, Chinese tallow tree, wisteria or other shrubby weeds.