Helping You Become a More Successful Gardener
Michael Charters, www.calflora.net
Robinia 'Purple Robe'
Hybrid Black Locust, Purple Robe Locust
A tough tree with billowy foliage and pretty violet-pink late spring flowers, 'Purple Robe' is no less than easy-to-grow. A small to medium-sized deciduous tree, it is a hybrid. Some consider it a cross between cultivars of Robinia ambigua and Robinia hispida while others believe it a cross between Robinia pseudoacacia and Robinia hispida.
It has compound leaves (made up of many smaller oval leaflets) that emerge bronze-red in spring, maturing to blue-green. Its fragrant, rosy-purple, wisteria-like blossoms open in mid- to late spring, attracting honeybees. Over the summer purplish brown seedpods form and ripen and can persist on the irregular, picturesque branches in winter after the yellow-green autumn leaves fall. The pods do split open to drop seeds that will germinate.
Purple Robe locust requires full sun or nearly so and excels in moist loamy soil. It is tolerant of drought as well as any infertile ground and mild saltspray. 'Purple Robe' is an excellent specimen plant and shade tree with pretty flowers, especially nice to add in sites with less-than-optimal growing conditions. Root suckers should be removed to keep this plant from creating a thicket; young saplings should be promptly removed for the same reason. Borers can wreak havoc upon trees that are stressed from root constriction or excessive drought.
The honey made from the flowers of locust has a distinctive color and flavor that can be well-received and desired.
9 - 3
5 - 8
2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
30'-40' / 9.1m - 12.2m
20'-30' / 6.1m - 9.1m
Spring, Late Spring
Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline
Clay, Loam, Sand
Pollution, Drought, Salt, Soil Compaction
Drought Tolerant, Average Water
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Red, Crimson, Bronze
Green, Blue Green
White, Brown, Gray
Feature Plant, Shade Trees, Street Trees
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