Fun Facts

Robinia pseudoacacia is an invasive species!  This means that when the black locust has been introduced to a new environment, it tends to compete with native species and take over in that environment. Since this species loves the sun, as I mentioned earlier in my Habitat page, it grows rapidly in open areas with lots of light and no shade, driving other sun-loving plants away.  Also, the black locust’s fragrant white flowers compete for pollinating bees, increasing the competition with native plants.
                                                             Steven J. Baskauf, 2002. Bioimages
Black Locust LeavesIt turns out this tree has many uses for humans as well!  The black locust has served ornamental purposes, and on top of that, it has been planted to prevent soil erosion.  This tree is also a nitrogen fixer, so besides being planted to keep soil in place, it is planted to help enrich soil too.
So why should anyone be interested in Robinia pseudoacacia?  Any organism that is pleasing to the eye with gorgeous white blossoms while toxic at the same time is definitely worth a look.  Also, the mere complexity of this tree is amazing!  All the structures it has evolved in order to thrive, and the crucial role it plays in the forest ecosystem makes this plant truly extraordinary.                                                     

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