Black locust (Eng); falsa acacia, acacia blanca, robinia (Spa); robínia (Cat); azkasi (Baq); falsa acacia (Glg); falsa-acácia (Por).
DID YOU KNOW...? Its showy white flowers are eaten like candy and are known as 'bread and cheese'.
This legume is a fast growing tree that can be up to 25 m tall and which has grey, cracked bark. Its leaves are deciduous, alternate and compound, with 3-11 leaflets, always in an odd number (odd-pinnate). The margin of the leaflet is entire, oval or rounded, often with a notched apex and a bluish-green upper side. At the base of the complete leaf there are sometimes two spines, arranged one on either side of the stalk. The numerous, white, aromatic flowers bloom at the end of spring in hanging clusters. The fruits are legumes, 3-12 cm long by 1-1.5 cm wide. They are more or less flattened, not shiny, and dangle down at the ends of the branches.
In its native lands it grows both in forests and open terrain, on sandy or stony soils. In the Canaries it grows best at high levels on the midslopes, or medianías (zones between altitudes of 600 and 1500 m). This exotic species regenerates naturally through seeds or suckers. When it is established in the wild we can find it coexisting with other species typical of the monteverde or laurel forests. It is fairly indifferent to soil type, although it grows best on deep, fertile, siliceous terrain. The black locust is an invasive species in many of the temperate regions around the world, and it is very aggressive when it becomes established in the wild, tending to displace native species.
The black locust is originally from the central and eastern United States. In the Canaries it was introduced as an ornamental and is currently only established in the wild in very specific zones on the island of Gran Canaria. It is included in the Atlas of invasive alien plants of Spain.