Robinia pseudoacacia, Black Locust.

Robinia pseudoacacia, Black Locust is found in dry woods in Eastern North America and widely planted as an ornamental tree elsewhere. Indigenous groups chewed root bark to induce vomiting, held bark in mouth to allay toothaches. A folk tonic, purgative, emetic. Flower tea used for rheumatism. In China the root bark is also considered purgative and emetic and the flowers are considered diuretic. Flowers contain a glycoside, robinin, which is experimentally diuretic. Flowers are sometimes eaten. Black locust first described in detail in one of the great seventeenth century English herbals, John Parkinson's Theatrum Botanicum (Theatre of Plants) published in 1640. In his Sylva Florifera, (1823), Henry Phillips, tell us that American Indians make a declaration of love by presenting a branch of this tree in blossom to the object of their attachment. No doubt our native black locust itself was the object of desire. “Of all exotic trees,” Phillips writes,” with which we have adorned our native groves, this North American stands first."

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