- A deciduous shrub, around 8 feet tall.
- pinnately compound
- 7 to 13 egg-shaped leaflets
- stems hairy
- thorns around some buds
- young twigs covered with stout, bristly hairs
- Pink and pea-like, five-petaled flowers fragrant and growing in hanging clusters. Blooms from June through July.
- often does not produce fruit
- long flat pod, very bristly
- dried brown
- full sun
- tolerant of dry, sandy conditions
- fixes nitrogen
- mechanically dispersed seeds
- spreads vegetatively by root suckers
Key ID Features:
- stout, bristly hairs on young and green stems
- Honey locust (Gleditsia triacanthos) has pinnate leaves or it may have bipinnate leaves. It also has much larger spines, smaller, yellow-green flowers and long twisted pods, while Bristly locust has straight pods.
- Two other locusts that also have invasive tendencies are Black locust (R. pseudoacacia), which has smooth stems, elliptic leaflets, and white flowers, and Clammy locust (R. viscosa), which has sticky, gland-covered stems and paler pink flowers.
- On Nantucket, this species can be found in the wild in Quaise, Squam and Quidnet, though it is not clear what the source of the populations was.
Growth Form: Shrub
Origin: Southeastern United States, North Central United States, Lower Northeastern United States
Level of Invasiveness for Nantucket: Do not list at this time
Level of Invasiveness for Massachusetts: Not evaluated
Massachusetts Cultivation Restrictions: no