These are trees of the legume family, with charactaristic compound leaves and seed pods. They turn bright yellow in the fall, often have sharp spines, and grow very well in the desert. In fact, they sometimes 'escape' from cultivation, although they are not as much a threat to natives as other plants like tamarisk. They are also known as 'locust' trees. The type which is abundant in the desert of the southwestern US is Robinia pseudoacacia, so called because it somewhat resembles an acacia tree.

If you're going to plant a Robinia, you will probably want to get a variety which doesnt have thorns, or the seed pods, which can make a mess. Also, don't plant them in natural settings (in the US), because they may crowd out native plants. They may grow as shrubs but can be pruned into trees. They can give decent fall color and are extremely hardy - surviving where few other trees would.

Ro**bin"i*a (?), n. [NL. So called after Jean Robin, a French herbalist.] Bot.

A genus of leguminous trees including the common locust of North America (Robinia Pseudocacia).


© Webster 1913.

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