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New Mexico Locust

Natural History

The New Mexico Locust is a member of the Pea Family. The plant appears as a large shrub or small tree to 25 feet in height. It has bluish green, 1.5 inch long, elliptical leaves which grow in pairs of 7 to 10. The bark of the tree is greyish brown and smooth, but becomes furrowed as the plant ages.

The seeds, bark and roots of the New Mexico Locust are toxic to humans, however, Native Americans used to eat the flowers raw.

The tree can be found growing on roadsides and in pine forests at elevations between 4000 and 8500 feet. The New Mexico Locust blooms between May and July and produces dense clusters of pink flowers followed by a reddish brown seed pod to 4.5 inches in length.

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