Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

Home to the plants of the Sonoran, Chihuahuan and Mojave Deserts

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Robinia neomexicana, New Mexico Locust

Robinia neomexicana, New Mexico Locust Robinia neomexicana, New Mexico Locust Robinia neomexicana, New Mexico Locust Robinia neomexicana, New Mexico LocustRobinia neomexicana, New Mexico Locust

Scientific Name: Robinia neomexicana
Common Name: New Mexico Locust
Also Called: New Mexico Honey Locust (Spanish: Uña de Gato, Robinia)
Family: Fabaceae or Leguminosae Family
Synonyms: ()
Status: Native
Duration: Perennial
Size: Up to 25 feet or more.
Growth Form: Tree and large shrub; dense crown, spiny spreads through rhizomes which also form thickets, trunk diameter to 8 inches, dense crown.
Leaves: Green; alternate, deciduous, pinnately compound, leaves to 8 inches.
Flower Color: Purple, white or purplish-pink; showy flowers in axillary racemes, fragrant, pea-shaped, hanging in dense clusters, fruit a 3 inch hairy legume, several seeds.
Flowering Season: May to July.
Elevation: 4,000 to 8,500 feet.

Habitat Preferences: Along streams, sides of canyons and in coniferous forests, often with Gambel Oak, Quercus gambelii.

Recorded Range: New Mexico Locust is found primarily in the southwestern United States in; AZ, CA, CO, NM, NV, TX, UT and WY. It is also native to northern Mexico. In Arizona it is found throughout most of the state but few or no records in the southwest corner.

North America & US County Distribution Map for Robinia neomexicana.

U.S. Weed Information: No information available.
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: No information available.
Wetland Indicator: No information available.
Threatened/Endangered Information: No information available.

Genus Information: 4 species in Robinia in the United States, Canada and Mexico. 2 species in Arizona.
2 varieties in Robinia neomexicana:
Robinia neomexicana var. neomexican, New Mexico Locust (Recorded Range above)
Robinia neomexicana var. rusbyi, Rusby's Locust (SE Arizona and western NM only)

The Plant List includes 187 scientific plant names of species rank for the genus Robinia. Of these 6 are accepted species names.

Comments: New Mexico Locust is a rhizomatous tree or shrub that grows alone or as a co dominant under-story plant with Gambel Oak and other higher elevations species (pines and firs).

See a complete listing of ethno-botanical uses at Native American Ethnobotany, University of Michigan, Dearborn.

Date Profile Completed: 09/07/2015, updated format 10/12/2017
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database and USGS ITIS search
Arizona Flora, Kearney, Thomas H., Peebles, Robert H., 1960, University of California Press, Berkley and Los Angeles, California.
USDA Forest Service Fire Effects Information System (MEOF);; (accessed 09/07/2015)
The Plant List (2013). Version 1.1. Published on the Internet; (accessed 09/07/2015).
Native Plant Information Network, NPIN (2013). Published on the Internet [accessed: 09/07/2015]. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas, Austin, TX.
1993, The Jepson Manual, Citation: (accessed 09/07/2015),4198,4199
Wikipedia contributors, 'Robinia neomexicana', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 15 May 2015, 23:17 UTC, [accessed 7 September 2015]
SEINet for synonyms, scientific names, recorded geographic locations and general information