Rose acacia Robinia hispida

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Hard-care
rose acacia


Commonly known as the bristly locust, this plant possesses a striking appearance with a multitude of features that make it easily identifiable. The most noticeable aspect of the bristly locust is its stems, which are covered with bristle-like red or reddish-brown hairs. These hairs give the plant a rough texture and contribute to its common name. The leaves of the bristly locust are compound, with leaflets arranged on either side of a central stem, resembling a feather-like pattern. The leaflets are oval-shaped and have a smooth edge, presenting a lush green color that can turn to a yellow hue in the fall. One of the most eye-catching attributes of the bristly locust is its flowers. The plant displays clusters of striking pink to rose-colored flowers that hang in a drooping fashion. Each flower is pea-like in shape and structure, which is typical for plants in its family. These attractive blooms are not only showy but are also a draw for various pollinators, including bees. Following the flowering period, the bristly locust produces seed pods. These pods are flat and smooth, with a length that adds another layer of visual interest to the plant after the flowers have passed. Inside these pods are the seeds that enable the spread and propagation of the plant. Overall, the appearance of the bristly locust is characterized by its bristly stems, feather-like green leaves, distinctive pink flowers, and flat seed pods, making it a noticeable plant in any setting where it is located.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Bristly Locust, Rose-Acacia, Moss Locust, Rose Locust, Hispid Locust

    • Common names

      Robinia hispida var. fertilis, Robinia hispida var. kelseyi, Robinia fertilis, Robinia kelseyi.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      5-10 feet (1.5-3 meters)

    • Spread

      4-8 feet (1.2-2.4 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      North America


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental Value: Robinia hispida, commonly known as bristly locust, is prized for its attractive rose-pink to violet flowers that provide aesthetic value to gardens and landscapes.
    • Wildlife Habitat: The flowers of the bristly locust are a source of nectar for bees and other pollinators, making it beneficial for supporting local ecosystems.
    • Erosion Control: Bristly locust has a root system that helps stabilize soil, making it useful for controlling erosion on slopes and disturbed areas.
    • Drought Tolerance: This plant is drought-resistant once established, making it suitable for xeriscaping or in regions with limited water resources.
    • Soil Improvement: Like other legumes, bristly locust can fix nitrogen in the soil, which can help improve soil fertility for other plants.
    • Fast Growth: Robinia hispida is known for its rapid growth rate, which allows for quick establishment and coverage when used in landscaping projects.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Soil Stabilization: Robinia hispida, also known as the bristly locust, has a robust root system that can help in controlling soil erosion and stabilizing slopes or embankments.
    • Livestock Fodder: In some areas, the leaves of bristly locust are used as a fodder crop for livestock, though its use is limited due to potential toxicity.
    • Woodcraft: The hardwood of bristly locust can be used in woodworking to make small, decorative items or inlay work due to its strength and appearance.
    • Fencing Material: The wood is resistant to rot and can be used for fence posts and other outdoor constructions that require durability.
    • Wildlife Habitat: Bristly locust provides shelter and nesting sites for birds and other wildlife, contributing to biodiversity conservation.
    • Natural Dyes: The bark and leaves can be used to produce yellow to green dyes for textiles or crafts.
    • Insect Repellent: The thorny nature of bristly locust can act as a physical barrier, deterring browsing animals and protecting more vulnerable plants.
    • Permaculture: Incorporated into permaculture designs, bristly locust can serve multiple functions, such as windbreaks or privacy screens, while also fixing nitrogen in the soil.
    • Ornamental Use: Despite its thorns, some gardeners use bristly locust for ornamental purposes, appreciating its showy flowers and unique appearance.
    • Educational Tool: As a species with both positive and negative ecological impacts, bristly locust provides a practical educational example for ecology and environmental science studies.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The bristly locust is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The bristly locust is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Resilience: The hardy nature of the bristly locust (Robinia hispida) signifies the ability to thrive despite challenging conditions. This plant is known for its robustness and ability to adapt, making it a symbol for resilience in the face of adversity.
    • Renewal: Bristly locust trees are deciduous, shedding their leaves in autumn and growing new ones in spring. This cycle of renewal is symbolic of new beginnings and the continuous nature of life's seasons.
    • Protection: With its bristly stems and thorns, the bristly locust may represent protection and defence, suggesting a natural barrier against harm or a protective shield for one's emotional or physical space.
    • Beauty & Contrast: Despite its protective thorns, the bristly locust produces beautiful, fragrant flowers, symbolizing the contrast between ruggedness and beauty and the coexistence of strength and grace.

Every 7-10 days
2500 - 10000 Lux
Not applicable
Spring to Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    The Rose Acacia (Robinia hispida) prefers to be watered deeply and less frequently to encourage a strong root system. Generally, young plants require watering once a week, delivering approximately 1 to 1.5 gallons of water each time, depending on the climate and soil drainage. Mature Rose Acacias are drought-tolerant and may only need extra watering during prolonged dry spells. In such cases, watering every two weeks with about 1.5 to 2 gallons should suffice. Always make sure the top few inches of soil are dry before watering again.

  • sunLight

    Rose Acacia thrives in full sun conditions, where it can receive at least six hours of direct sunlight daily. The best spot for the plant would be in an open area, away from the shadow of larger trees or buildings, to ensure it gets ample light throughout the day. Dappled sunlight can be tolerated but may result in reduced flowering.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Rose Acacia is hardy and can withstand temperatures down to about 20°F, with the ideal temperature range being between 60°F to 80°F for optimal growth. This plant can survive summers where temperatures occasionally climb above 100°F, but should be monitored for stress. It can endure the high temperatures well as long as it's planted in appropriate soil that drains well.

  • scissorsPruning

    Rose Acacia requires pruning to maintain its desired shape and to remove any damaged or diseased branches. The best time to prune is late winter or early spring, before new growth begins. Prune sparingly, just enough to shape the plant and remove any unwanted growth. At this time, it's also advantageous to remove any suckers or water sprouts to encourage air circulation and light penetration within the canopy.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    The best soil mix for the Rose Acacia (Robinia hispida) should be well-draining with a mixture of loam, sand, and some organic matter. Preferably, the soil pH should range from 6.0 to 7.5, which is slightly acidic to neutral.

  • plantRepotting

    Rose Acacia doesn't typically require frequent repotting and can be repotted every few years or when the plant has outgrown its current container.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    The Rose Acacia is adaptable to different humidity levels but does best in average humidity conditions typical of outdoor environments.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Provide bright light and avoid overwatering the Rose Acacia indoors.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in full sun and ensure soil has good drainage for Rose Acacia.

    • Hardiness zone

      5-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The life of Robinia hispida, commonly known as bristly locust, begins with seed germination, which requires a period of cold stratification to break dormancy. Upon sprouting, the seedling emerges and establishes a root system, slowly transitioning into the vegetative stage characterized by rapid stem and leaf growth. This phase is followed by the maturation of the plant into a flowering adult, where the bristly locust produces pink to rose-colored, pea-like flowers in late spring or early summer. Once pollinated, typically by bees, the flowers give way to flat seed pods that mature by late summer and eventually release seeds for the next generation. This perennial plant may also spread vegetatively through root suckers, allowing stands to expand and form dense thickets. The bristly locust has a lifespan of several decades, during which it goes through repeated cycles of growth, flowering, and seed production.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring to Summer

    • The most popular method of propagating the bristly locust (Robinia hispida) is through seed sowing. Optimal propagation time is usually during the fall, immediately after seed pod maturity. To prepare the seeds for sowing, they should be scarified, which means slightly damaging the hard outer layer to encourage germination. This can be done by nicking the seeds with a sharp knife or rubbing them with sandpaper. Once scarified, the seeds need to be soaked in water for about 24 hours (about 0.1 liters) which helps to further soften the coat, promoting germination. The soaked seeds can then be sown roughly 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep (about 6 to 13 millimeters) in well-draining soil and kept moist until germination, which often takes place in one to three weeks. They require full sun to partial shade conditions and do well in various soil types but prefer good drainage.