#30DaysOfBiking 2012: Black Locust

Today is day #12 of the 2012 30 Days Of Biking challenge:

The Black Locust trees are in full blossom, and the bees were enjoying them as much as I was. There were huge bees buzzing noisily higher-up in the tree, but too far away and to frantic for me to get a good photo.

The Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) grows throughout Kansas (and much of the U.S.), but only blooms for a short period of time, usually no more than a week or two. KSWildflower.org reports that Black Locust normally flower in May or June, but here it is, not even the middle of April, and they’re already blooming. Spring is early this year!

The blossoms have a sweet, vanilla-like fragrance, and are edible, raw or cooked:

Black locust blossoms taste something like sweet peas with a hint of vanilla, and their wonderful aroma and subtle flavor lend themselves magnificently in a variety of dishes. Last year I made fettucine alfredo with a heap of locust flowers cooked into the cream sauce, and it was out of this world. They are swell in salads: green salad, fruit salad, and potato salad. These golden blossoms will go well on a grilled chicken sandwich or in a stir-fry. My favorite way to eat them, however, is straight from the tree. I just grab a cluster, shake it to make sure it is free of ants and bees, and then stuff it in my mouth. [read more]

Please note that the flowers are the only edible part of the tree. Don’t eat the stems, seeds, leaves, bark, or roots, which are toxic to both humans and other animals such as pets or livestock.

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About The Author

By Randy Rasa, editor/webmaster at Kansas Cyclist, the web’s premier Kansas cycling information site, featuring authoritative guides to Kansas cycling clubs, bike shops, organized bike rides, touring, trails, and much more. [learn more]

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