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Flaigg, Norman G.
Robinia hispida L.
Bristly locust, Standing sweet pea
USDA Symbol: ROHI
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
Bristly locust is a much-branched, erect shrub, up to 8 feet tall, forming colonies from root sprouts. Stems and branches are stiff, hairy, coarse, and bristly. Leaves are compound, alternate, deciduous, and densely hairy, divided into 7–19 leaflets, 1 1/2–2 inches long. Flowers are in clusters that hang from the leaf axil, dark pink to rose or orchid. They are 2-lipped, the upper lip shorter than the lower.
This shrub has been planted for erosion control; in the north it is planted along highways where it acts as a snow fence.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Shrub Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Red , Pink
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul
AL , AR , CO , CT , DE , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , NE , NH , NJ , NM , NY , OH , OK , OR , PA , RI , SC , TN , TX , UT , VA , VT , WA , WI , WV Native Distribution:
Mts. from VA to KY, s. to GA & AL; introduced elsewhere Native Habitat:
Open woods; mt. slopes; sand hills USDA Native Status: L48(N), CAN(I)
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement:
Sun Soil pH:
Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2) Soil Description:
Sandy or thin soils. Conditions 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.
PropagationDescription: Propagate by seed or from spring root cuttings. Cuttings should be stored in cool, dry sand for three weeks before planting.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Mechanical or acid scarification or a hot water soak is necessary due to impermeable seed coats.
Commercially Avail: yes
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Record Modified: 2007-08-24
Research By: TWC Staff