Skip Navigation

Species Search:
FieldGuidesthreatened and/or endangered search resultsthreatened and/or endangered

previous  | next

Bristly Locust Robinia hispida


enlarge +

Bristly Locust
credit: Steve Law/CCSA

All Images


Get Our Newsletters


Advanced Search

Family: Fabaceae, Pea view all from this family

Description Robinia hispida, known as the Bristly Locust, Rose acacia, or Rose locust, is a shrub or small tree in the subfamily Faboideae of the pea family Fabaceae, native to the southeastern United States.

It grows to 2–4 m tall, with densely glandular-bristly stems, somewhat sticky to touch. The leaves are 12–23 cm long, pinnate with 7-15 leaflets 2–5 cm long. The flowers are pink, produced on short racemes of 3-12 together in the spring; each flower is 20–25 mm (about 1 inch) across.

Habitat Mountains, Cities, suburbs & towns, Scrub, shrub & brushlands, Canyons & valleys, Fields.

Range Northwest, Eastern Canada, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Florida, Rocky Mountains, Great Lakes, New England, Southwest, Texas, Plains.

Comments Because the flowers last a short time, this shrub is more functional than ornamental. Its ability to form dense thickets has made it useful in stabilizing dry, sandy areas and preventing erosion. Suffers from frequent disease and insect problems and needs protection from wind, as it is easily broken.

Exposure Preference Sun.

Flower April - July

Native Distribution Mts. from Virginia to Kentucky, s. to Georgia & Alabama; introduced elsewhere

Site Preference Open woods; mt. slopes; sand hills

Soil Preference Sandy or thin soils. pH 6.1-8.5.

Wildlife Value Very low.