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Robinia neomexicana (New mexico locust) | NPIN
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Robinia neomexicana (New mexico locust)
Muller, Thomas L.

Robinia neomexicana

Robinia neomexicana A. Gray

New Mexico locust, Mescal bean

Fabaceae (Pea Family)

Synonym(s):

USDA Symbol: RONE

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

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.

 

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 , NM , NV , 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

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees
Special Value to Honey Bees

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

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

Propagation

Description: 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

Find Seed or Plants

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Tohono Chul Park, Inc. - Tucson, AZ
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department - Austin, TX

Bibliography

Bibref 1186 - Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America (2005) Covell, C.V., Jr.
Bibref 1185 - Field Guide to Western Butterflies (Peterson Field Guides) (1999) Opler, P.A. and A.B. Wright
Bibref 355 - Landscaping with Native Plants of Texas and the Southwest (1991) Miller, G. O.
Bibref 291 - Texas Wildscapes: Gardening for Wildlife (1999) Damude, N. & K.C. Bender
Bibref 297 - Trees of Central Texas (1984) Vines, Robert A.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Recommended Species Lists

Find native plant species by state. Each list contains commercially available species suitable for gardens and planned landscapes. Once you have selected a collection, you can browse the collection or search within it using the combination search.

View Recommended Species page

Additional resources

USDA: Find Robinia neomexicana in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Robinia neomexicana in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Robinia neomexicana

Metadata

Record Modified: 2009-09-06
Research By: TWC Staff

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