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Black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia).—John H. Gerard
In botany, any of about 20 tree species in the genus Robinia of the pea family (seelegume), all native to eastern North America and Mexico. Best-known is the black locust (R. pseudoacacia), often called false acacia or yellow locust. Widely cultivated in Europe as an ornamental, it grows 80 ft (24 m) high and bears long, compound leaves. The fragrant white flowers hang in loose clusters. There are many varieties, some thornless. The black locust has long been used for erosion control and as a timber tree. The so-called honey locust (Gleditsia triacanthos), also of the pea family, is a North American tree commonly used as an ornamental and often found in hedges.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on locust, visit Britannica.com.