This is a Black Locust tree. Our property is full of them. And at this time of year, the most glorious scent wafts through the air. I do believe it may be my all-time most favorite smell. If only the web had a scratch-n-sniff feature… But come to find out, perfumeries have also discovered this heavenly scent and its used in many perfumes.
It’s also one of my all-time favorite wild edibles The flower clusters taste like the sweetest of sweet spring peas with a floral note–which shouldn’t be surprising because Black Locusts are actually in the pea family (Fabaceae).
The entire flower portion is edible, with the pink base having the sweetest flavor. These can be eaten fresh or made into preserves, wine or added to salads. Don’t eat the seed pods though as those are poisonous.
It’s also one of my favorite trees. Along with being one of the heaviest and hardest woods in North America, they literally harvest their own nitrogen fertilizer from the atmosphere and fix it in the soil with the assistance of Rhizobia bacteria in their root nodules.
Untreated Black Locust wood posts can even survive in the ground for over 100 years. And it makes great firewood.
I know some people hate these trees and think of them as nothing more than invasive weed trees, I’d venture to say those are people who’ve gone too far into manipulating and manicuring their “outdoor rooms” and perhaps have forgotten how to fully appreciate the gifts of nature.