Just like the tulip trees we met over the weekend, the black locust trees are in full bloom this week, and this young specimen is looking particularly lovely by the light of the setting sun.
Black locust, Robinia pseudoacacia, is native to North Carolina and is prized for both its wood and its flowers; although the blooming season is short, black locust is the source for a great deal of spring honey production. The wood is extremely durable and resistant to decay, and is perfect for outdoor applications such as fence posts.
The blossoms are strongly reminiscent of garden pea blossoms, and the black locust is indeed a member of the botanical family Fabaceae; you guessed it, the pea family. The black locust is quite adaptable and spreads aggressively into newly cleared areas, so much so that it has been identified in many areas of the U.S. outside of its native southeast as an undesirable invasive species. Be that as it may, the black locust's aesthetic appeal is undeniable this time of year, and we're inclined to like it.