Shrub to 3 m (9 ft) tall, spreading by stolons and forming thickets. Twigs covered with bristly brown hairs. Leaves alternate, pinnate, 15-30 cm (6-12 in) long. Leaflets 3-6 pairs, 2-5.5 cm (0.8-2.2 in) long and 1.5-4.5 cm (0.6-1.8 in) wide, with a bristle-tip. Inflorescence a loose raceme with 3-8 flowers. Flowers rose-purple, about 3 cm (1.2 in) long, blooming in late Spring. Fruits legumes 5-8 cm (2-3 in) long, densely glandular-hispid.
Distribution: Native to Virginia and Tennessee, but spreading from cultivation in much of the U. S.
Habitat: Roadsides, abandoned fields, etc.
NWI status: none
Comment: Bristly locust has been cultivated as an ornamental and frequently escapes from cultivation into disturbed areas and roadsides. Robinia honors Jean and Vespasian Robin, Royal Herbalists of France, who first cultivated the locust tree in Europe; hispida refers to the bristly twigs.
Distribution in Oklahoma:
RETURN TO INDEX
Last update: 9/17/99
Go to Oklahoma Biological Survey Home Page