How does Robinia pseudoacacia fit in with other organisms?

To explain this, I'll break down the classification starting from the domain all the way down to the species of the black locust.  Next, I have provided two phylogenetic trees to further explain how Robinia pseudoacacia relates to other organisms.  But first let's start with the domain...

Domain: Eukarya

All organisms in this domain, including the black locust, have cells with a nucleus and membrane-bound organelles.  To see other members of this domain, check out Acanthaster planci, Pterois miles, Chironex fleckeri, Amanita bisporigera, or Eciton hamatum.

Kingdom: Virdiplantae

This kingdom is home to the plants! These organisms exhibit alternation of generations, a lifecycle found in plants.  Members of this kingdom obtain energy through photosynthesis with specialized structures called chloroplasts.  The picture below shows what the cells of organisms within this kingdom look like.  For more examples of other plants, take a look at Asclepias syriacia, Pastinaca sativa, Rhododendron ponticum, or Ephedra viridis.

Structure of a Plant Cell
Wikimedia Commons

Phylum: Anthophyta

This phylum contains the flowering plants, or Angiosperms.  Plants within the Anthophyta are also characterized by the presence of flowers.  Have a look at the American Mountain Ash to see another organism from this phylum.

Class: Dicotyledonae

In this class, the veins in the leaves are organized in a branching pattern as seen in the photo below.  The flowers on these plants have petals in multiples of four or five.  Some other examples of members from this class include the Poisonous Primrose, apple trees, oak trees, sunflowers, peas and cacti.

Close Up of Black Locust Leaf
Steven J. Baskauf, 2002

Order: Fabales

Organisms in this class possess pods containing seeds that are aligned in a row.  Also, it is common for organisms to exhibit symbiotic relationships with nitrogen fixing bacteria.  Herbs, vines, and shrubs can be found in this order along with Robinia pseudoacacia.

Legume of Black LocustFamily: Fabaceae

This is known as the legume family because organisms within this family grow fruit called legumes, or pods.  These fruits come in a variety of shapes and sizes.  Seeds and fruits are typically dispersed by wind, and again, nitrogen fixation is a common feature.  Peanuts and peas are two examples of organisms that are classified under this family.

Genus: Robinia

This includes many deciduous trees and shrubs native to North America.  Fragrant white and pink flowers can be  found on the organisms in this genus.        Steven J. Baskauf, 2002

Species: Robinia pseudoacacia

Now we’ve reached the black locust itself!  This tree has leaves that stay a light green from spring to winter.  As I said on the home page, this tree possesses fragrant white flowers that bloom in the spring and early summer.  These flowers are followed by smooth brown pods that contain seeds in the fall.


Phylogenetic Tree of Seed Plants
Jessica Klebs, 2013

The phylogenetic tree above depicts the relationships among seed producing plants.  As you can see, Anthophyta, the phylum Robinia pseudoacacia belongs to, is highlighted in yellow.  Next to it, the phylum Coniferophyta is highlighted in green.  This is the phylum of plants to which the black locust is most closely related.  The phylum Coniferophyta includes the Gymnosperms.  These plants produce exposed seeds with no coverings.

Phylogenetic Tree of Kingdoms within the Eukarya
Jessica Klebs, 2013

This second phylogenetic tree shows which groups the land plants as a whole are most closely related.  The kingdom of the land plants, highlighted in yellow, is where you'll find Robinia pseudoacacia.  Highlighted in green next to the Land Plants is Kingdom Charophyceae, which is the closest in relation to the land plants.  The charophyeans include the green algae, the group that is believed to have given rise to the land plants.

Navigate to the habitat page next to find out where Robinia pseudoacacia lives.

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 Banner Photo Credit: Steven J. Baskauf, 2002. From Bioimages