False Acacia

Overview: False Acacia / Black locust is a tree up to 25 m high with a rounded crown and a trunk up to 1 m in diameter. Its grey-brown bark is rough and deeply furrowed. Black locust trees often produce suckers (shoots which come out of the ground some distance from the main trunk). The sucker shoots and young branches are usually armed with spines (formed from pairs of stipules, leaf-like structures on the base of the leaf, that become woody and sharp with age).

Leaves: The leaves are pinnate (divided into a central axis bearing leaflets) with 3–11 pairs of oval leaflets and one extra terminal leaflet. At maturity the leaflets are almost hairless.

Flowers: The scented flowers are 15–20 mm long. The calyx (outer whorl of floral organs) is reddish-purple, and the petals are white (the standard petal having a basal yellow blotch). The stalked flowers are clustered into showy, hanging racemes.

Fruits: The fruits are linear-oblong, hairless pods, with the upper suture (margin) slightly winged, and there are 4–10 seeds per pod.