Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin information

 Native Plant Database

Robinia neomexicana


New Mexico locust, Mescal bean


Fabaceae (Pea Family)



Robinia neomexicana (New mexico locust)
Muller, Thomas L.
This is a much-branched, thicket-forming shrub, 1-10 ft. tall, with reddish-purple branches; pale, rose-pink flowers; and thick, rough-hairy beans. Spiny shrub or small tree with open crown and showy, fragrant, purplish-pink, pea-shaped flowers; often forming thickets.

Spectacular flower displays of New Mexican Locust can be seen at the north rim of Grand Canyon National Park in early summer. It is sometimes planted as an ornamental for the handsome flowers and is also valuable for erosion control, sprouting from roots and stumps and rapidly forming thickets. Livestock and wildlife browse the foliage and cattle relish the flowers. Indians also ate the pods and flowers.

Image Gallery:

3 photo(s) available

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Tree
Leaf: Green
Fruit:
Size Class: 12-36 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Red
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug

Distribution

USA: AZ , CA , CO , NV , NM , TX , UT , WY
Native Distribution: S. CO & s.w. UT to NV, s. to w. TX, AZ & adjacent Mex.
Native Habitat: Deserts; mesa; canyons; conifer forests

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Cold Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Rocky soils. Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay
Conditions Comments: Seeds are extremely poisonous to humans.

Benefit

Use Ornamental: Showy, Attractive, Blooms ornamental, Understory tree, Erosion control
Use Wildlife: Flowers attract bees and hummingbirds. Browse, Nectar-insects, Fruit-mammals, Fruit-birds
Warning: Seeds contain toxic substances, and a single seed can be fatal if eaten. Leaves can cause skin irritation. Sensitivity to a toxin varies with a personís age, weight, physical condition, and individual susceptibility. Children are most vulnerable because of their curiosity and small size. Toxicity can vary in a plant according to season, the plantís different parts, and its stage of growth; and plants can absorb toxic substances, such as herbicides, pesticides, and pollutants from the water, air, and soil.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes

Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)

Robinia neomexicana is a larval host and/or nectar source for:
Golden Banded-Skipper
(Autochton cellus)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA
Funereal Duskywing
(Erynnis funeralis)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA

Last Update: 2009-09-06