Scientific Name: Robinia pseudoacacia
Common Name: Black locust, false acacia
Plant Family: Fabaceae (Legume family)
As a food, the bark was steeped as a tea. Medicinally, the root bark was chewed as an emetic, alleviated toothache, and was used to flavor other medicines. The wood was valued for craft purposes, including fence posts, bows, flintmaking batons, pegs for log cabins, sills for houses, blowgun darts, and as large wood mallets. Black locust trees supported livestock, offering a tonic tea for cows, the large seedpods serving as forage for chickens, and leaves as forage for horses.
All parts of black locust are toxic except for the edible flowers, which can be enjoyed raw, cooked into fritters, added to batters, and used in infusions, wines, and syrups. Look for blossoms between the spring equinox and summer solstice.
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