Purple Robe Locust

Genus: Robinia ambigua

Plant Type: Tree

Hardiness Zone: Zones 3-10

Requirements: Full sun, little to moderate water.

Zoo Location: African Rift Valley

Characteristics: This variety of Locust is a hybrid cross between R. pseudocacia and R. viscosa. It grows up to 40 feet tall and 30 feet wide, with an open branching habit. New growth emerges reddish bronze but rapidly turns green. The leaves have a stem down the middle with many roundish leaflets on both sides. Four to 8 inch hanging clusters of half inch purple-pink pea-like flowers precede 4 inch bean-like pods. Moderately fast growing and well adapted to poor soils and hot, dry climates. Drawbacks include brittle wood and aggressive root systems which have a tendency to develop suckering shoots.

Did you Know? Bark, leaves, and seeds are poisonous if ingested.