Plant Database

Black Locust

Robinia pseudoacacia


Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) at GardenWorks

Black Locust

Black Locust

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) at GardenWorks

Black Locust flowers

Black Locust flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  50 feet

Spread:  30 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  3b

Other Names:  Common Locust


A tall, loose shade tree with highly fragrant and very showy chains of white flowers in spring; extremely adaptable, performs well in poor soils; spiny branches, tends to sucker and form colonies of trees, good for large-scale naturalizing

Ornamental Features

Black Locust has chains of fragrant creamy white pea-like flowers with yellow eyes hanging below the branches in late spring. It has bluish-green deciduous foliage. The oval pinnately compound leaves turn yellow in fall.

Landscape Attributes

Black Locust is a deciduous tree with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other landscape plants with less refined foliage.

This is a high maintenance tree that will require regular care and upkeep, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Suckering
  • Insects
  • Spiny

Black Locust is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Shade
  • Naturalizing And Woodland Gardens

Planting & Growing

Black Locust will grow to be about 50 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 30 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 5 feet from the ground, and should not be planted underneath power lines. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 60 years or more.

This tree does best in full sun to partial shade. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist growing conditions, but will not tolerate any standing water. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for xeriscaping or the moisture-conserving landscape. It is not particular as to soil type or pH, and is able to handle environmental salt. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This species is native to parts of North America.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Shade  Naturalizing 
Ornamental Features

Disclaimer - This resource is provided for informational purposes only and does NOT reflect current availability. Inventory varies seasonally, so we cannot guarantee that every plant will be in stock at all times - please contact your favourite GardenWorks location directly for current availability. It does not include our entire inventory of plants, so be sure to visit GardenWorks to see varieties that may not be represented on this list.