Robinia pseudoacacia

Last November, I was writing in disparaging terms about the yellow-leaved tree Robinia pseudoacacia ‘Frisia’.

Its parent species is a different matter entirely, and the fine specimen in my village square is currently in flower. (It’s possibly a hybrid – you never know.) The flowers, hanging down in pendulous white racemes, are similar to those of a wisteria or laburnum (to which the Robinia is related) and the whole tree has an open, elegant, airy appearance, which somehow ‘Frisia’ never quite achieves – and I don’t recall ever seeing this in flower.

The flowers of the robinia are very similar to a wisteria's

It is, however, a large tree. If space is at a premium, it’s worth considering as an alternative the pink-flowered Robinia hispida, a shrub that tops at around 3 metres. Bluebell Nurseries (bluebellnursery.com) recommend training it against a sunny wall, a lovely idea.

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