Have any of you ever tried black locust flowers (robinia pseudoacacia)? Or at least enjoyed smelling them? They’re a recent and happy discovery for me after being haunted by a fleeting yet gorgeous fragrance that would waft over my front yard for days. It smelled sweet, like a cross between jasmine and orange blossoms, and I looked around me, wondering if someone had a jasmine bush near by but couldn’t spot a source. Finally, I noticed the MASSIVE, thirty-foot flowering tree across the street and walked across to investigate. I couldn’t believe this tree was producing such a scent, snapped off a a cluster of blossoms and began researching online to figure out if it was edible–and it was. Note that the bark, seeds, pods, and leaves are TOXIC to humans and animals. Be sure to clean out any such fragments from your foraged flowers. Traditionally, the flowers were battered and fried in France and Italy, much like elderflower fritters. The blog Manger has a lovely post about black locust fritters here. I didn’t have the energy or inclination that week to figure out a good GF batter and make a deep-fried mess during its brief flowering season, but I definitely plan on experimenting come next spring.
And apparently, the spring honey produced by bees who gather their nectar primarily from black locust trees is delicate, mild, distinct and delicious–you can buy the honey from Honeyrun Farm in Ohio. I’m going to have to order a jar myself!
**You can read more about the flowers and safety precautions HERE. Also, keep the plant away from your pets and certain livestock! Read more about that HERE. And, of course, please be safe and don’t forage anything you’re not very, very certain about. Also, black locust is sometimes (and confusingly) called an acacia, but it’s a false acacia. A true acacia is a different tree with yellow flowers.