Terms of flowering honey plants in the USA and Canada

According to observations of naturalists and beekeepers.

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Common name:

Yellow locust

Scientific name:

Robinia pseudoacacia.

Life form:

Tree.

Flowering time:

10 days.

Flowering period

in Illinois for this plant is: MayJune.

NECTAR PRODUCTION:
800 – 1200 pounds per acre

SOURCE FOR HONEY BEES:
Major


General distribution:

Black locust is native to the United States, though the extent of its original range is not accurately known. It is thought that black locust was originally found in 2 regions. The eastern region was centered in the Appalachian Mountains and ranged from central Pennsylvania and southern Ohio south to northeastern Alabama, northern Georgia, and northwestern South Carolina. The western region included the Ozark Plateau of southern Missouri, northern Arkansas, and northeastern Oklahoma and the Ouachita Mountains of central Arkansas and southeastern Oklahoma. It is thought that outlying native populations existed in southern Indiana and Illinois, Kentucky, Alabama, and Georgia. Black locust has been widely planted and frequently escapes cultivation. As of 2009, it occurred throughout the conterminous United States and a number of Canadian provinces. Black locust also occurs in parts of South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia.

Black locust has been widely planted for windbreaks and shelterbelts, as woody biomass for energy production, and as a street or ornamental tree. It has also been widely planted for honey production.

Map of distribution and habitat in USA

This plant is present in at least 55 states/provinces in this country.

See The Map

Botanical description:

Black locust trees develop extensive root systems. Radial root extent is about 1 to 1.5 times tree height. Within black locust's native range, lateral surface root extensions of 165 feet (50 m) were documented.

Black locust matures to a medium-sized tree, generally 40 to 60 feet (12-18 m) in height and 12 to 30 inches (30-76 cm) in diameter. Within its native range, black locust averaged 4 stems/"rootstalk". Frequent frosts may result in crooked growth.

Young black locust bark is smooth and brown. Young trees are thorny. As trees age, the bark becomes thick, deeply furrowed, scaly, and dark brown. Black locust leaves are deciduous, alternate, and pinnately compound, with 7 to 19 leaflets on a central stalk that is 8 to 12 inches (20-30 cm) long. Leaflets are 30 to 50 mm long. Black locust flowers are about 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide, very fragrant, and produce large amounts of nectar. They are showy, white, and fragrant, in drooping clusters about 6 inches (14 cm) long. Clusters arise from leaf axils near the tip of new shoots. Black locust fruits are flat legumes 3 to 4 inches (7-10 cm) long. Seeds are dark, bean-like, 3 to 5 mm long, and have a hard, impermeable coat. Each legume contains approximately 4 to 8 seeds.

Seasonal development:

Within its native range, black locust generally flowers from April to June. In its nonnative range, flowering occurs mostly from May to June in the Pacific Northwest, California, the Southwest, Northeast and Canada, and Great Plains. Earlier flowering occurs from March to May in north-central Texas, while later flowering occurs in some parts of New England, extending into July. In the uplands of the Adirondacks, flowering generally occurs only in June.


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List of honey plants that may be blooming now in Illinois
See the entire list

Cercis canadensis (aka: Eastern redbud, Redbud, Cersis Reniformis)

Malus angustifolia (aka: American crab apple, Buncombe crab apple, Crabtree, Narrowleaf crab, Narrowleaf crab apple, Southern crab, Southern crab apple)

Acer saccharinum (aka: Silver maple, Soft maple)

Ulmus americana (aka: American elm, White elm, Water elm, Soft elm, Florida elm)

Prunus armeniaca (aka: Armenian plum, Ansu apricot, Siberian apricot, Tibetan apricot, Apricot tree)

Salix nigra (aka: Black willow, Swamp willow, Southwestern black willow, Gulf black willow, Scythe-leaved willow)

Pyrus communis (aka: European pear, Common pear)

Celtis laevigata (aka: Hackberry, Sugarberry, Lowland hackberry, Sugar hackberry, Arizona sugarberry, Netleaf hackberry, Small's hackberry, Southern hackberry, Texas sugarberry)

Acer negundo (aka: Boxelder, Western boxelder, Arizona boxelder, California boxelder, Texas boxelder, Interior boxelder, Violet boxelder)

Salix lucida (aka: Shining willow, Greenleaf willow, Tail-leaf willow, Whiplash willow, Pacific willow, Lance-leaf willow, Longleaf willow, Red willow, Western shining willow)

Salix discolor (aka: Pussy willow, American pussy willow, Glaucous willow, Large pussy willow)

Salix amygdaloides (aka: Peachleaf willow, Peach leaf willow)

Amelanchier arborea (aka: Common serviceberry, Downy serviceberry, Juneberry, Shadbush, Shadblow, Sugarplum)

Acer saccharum (aka: Sugar maple, Rock maple, Hard maple)

Populus tremuloides (aka: Quaking aspen, Trembling aspen, Aspen, American aspen, Mountain aspen, Golden aspen, Trembling poplar, White poplar, Popple, Alamo Blanco)

Malus coronaria (aka: Sweet crab apple, Garland crab, Alabama crab, Allegheny crab, American crab, Baltimore crab apple, Buncombe crab, Dawson crab, Dunbar crab, Fragrant crab, Garland tree, Lanceleaf crab apple, Missouri crab, Sweet-scented crab, Sweet wild crab, Wild crab, Wild sweet crab, Wild Crab Apple)

Prunus cerasus (aka: Sour cherry, Tart cherry, Dwarf cherry, Montmorency cherry)

Prunus pumila (aka: Sandcherry, Western sandcherry, Eastern sandcherry, Great Lakes sandcherry)

Liriodendron tulipifera (aka: Tuliptree, Blue-poplar, Tulip-poplar, Yellow-poplar, Yellow wood)

Salix bebbiana (aka: Bebb willow, Beak willow, Beaked willow, Long-beaked willow, Diamond willow, Chaton, Petit Minou, Smooth Bebb willow)

Acer rubrum (aka: Red maple, Scarlet maple)

Ilex opaca (aka: American holly, Dune holly, Hummock holly, Scrub holly)

Malus domestica (aka: Pyrus pumila, Malus pumila, Apple)

Acer platanoides (aka: Norway maple)