Robinia neomexicana, New Mexico Locust
Scientific Name: Robinia neomexicana
Common Name: New Mexico Locust
Also Called: New Mexico Honey Locust (Spanish: Uña de Gato, Robinia)
Family: Fabaceae or Leguminosae Family
Size: Up to 25 feet or more.
Growth Form: Tree and large shrub; dense crown, spiny spreads through rhizomes which also form thickets, trunk diameter to 8 inches, dense crown.
Leaves: Green; alternate, deciduous, pinnately compound, leaves to 8 inches.
Flower Color: Purple, white or purplish-pink; showy flowers in axillary racemes, fragrant, pea-shaped, hanging in dense clusters, fruit a 3 inch hairy legume, several seeds.
Flowering Season: May to July.
Elevation: 4,000 to 8,500 feet.
Habitat Preferences: Along streams, sides of canyons and in coniferous forests, often with Gambel Oak, Quercus gambelii.
Recorded Range: New Mexico Locust is found primarily in the southwestern United States in; AZ, CA, CO, NM, NV, TX, UT and WY. It is also native to northern Mexico. In Arizona it is found throughout most of the state but few or no records in the southwest corner.
U.S. Weed Information: No information available.
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: No information available.
Wetland Indicator: No information available.
Threatened/Endangered Information: No information available.
Genus Information: 4 species in Robinia in the United States, Canada and Mexico. 2 species in Arizona.
2 varieties in Robinia neomexicana:
Robinia neomexicana var. neomexican, New Mexico Locust (Recorded Range above)
Robinia neomexicana var. rusbyi, Rusby's Locust (SE Arizona and western NM only)
The Plant List includes 187 scientific plant names of species rank for the genus Robinia. Of these 6 are accepted species names.
Comments: New Mexico Locust is a rhizomatous tree or shrub that grows alone or as a codominant understory plant with Gambel Oak and other higher elevations species (pines and firs).
See a complete listing of ethno-botanical uses at Native American Ethnobotany, University of Michigan, Dearborn.