#37 Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia)

posted Jan 11, 2012, 2:57 PM by Western Sonoma County Historical Society   [ updated Jan 12, 2012, 7:48 AM ]

Black Locust

Fast-growing hybrids developed by Burbank for cattle fodder (leaves and seed pods); rot-resistant wood makes excellent fence posts. Beautiful white blossoms cluster in spring. Note European Mistletoe (Viscum album) that has colonized here. It is a partial parasite purposely introduced by Burbank for reasons known only to him.

Blossoms: beautiful, white clusters. Fruit: pods several inches long. Leaves: bright green, lost in fall. Wood: tough and rot resistant, useful for fence posts, etc. Trees are very thorny, hardy and invasive. Sprouts arise from the extensive root system. It was being developed as an alternative animal fodder source.

Mistletoe also seen in this photo was an intentional import from Europe. Experiments Burbank had in mind remain unknown.