ROBINIA

Often called false acacia, this genus contains a number of useful species for hot, sunny positions. The pea-shaped rose or white flowers appear in early summer. Robitiia pseudacacia, the common acacia or black locust, with white flowers, does especially well in town gardens, and is a favourite bee plant. It is a fast grower, ultimately reaching 70 ft. with a 50 ft. spread. The hard, long-lasting wood is useful for posts and gates. R. luxurians (neo-mexicana) is also a fast grower although it only reaches about 30 ft. This species often blooms twice in June and September. The flowers are rose-coloured. R. hispida is the rose acacia, a most attractive shrub, with large rose-pink flowers, borne in drooping clusters on a 7 ft. plant. It produces suckers freely, and these provide an easy means of propagation. Other robinias can usually be increased similarly.

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