Weed of the Week #9 – Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia: Fabaceae)


Weed of the week has been on a rather, long hiatus due to the growing pains of  Green Sky Designs last year, but we promise that this year we will be with you each and every week with a new weed to learn. Since it’s winter and there’s not too much to find in terms of weeds I decided we should start with some woody shrubs and trees that are visible this time of year. The first weed of the week for 2012 is Black Locust. Although this tree comes from a rather small area of the world, it has been spread through the work of people and its own tenacity. If you’ve ever had it growing on your property, you will know its propensity to spread and sucker. Black Locust is a member of the bean family (Fabacaeae), most of which have nitrogen-fixing bacteria on their roots which allow them to grow in places that most other plants won’t. In my Brooklyn back yard, it is the only woody plant growing in the leaf mould that has built up under a large magnolia tree over the years.

Where It’s From: Central and Southern Appalachian Mountains and Ozark Mountains

Where It’s Found: Widely planted and spread throughout North America, Southern Africa, Europe, and Asia.

Where To Find It: Woods and thickets in rural areas and planted as a street tree or in abandoned lots in urban areas


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