Legions of Legumes

Yesterday morning, before the heat of the day, I removed tree seedlings from our flower beds.  While some were oaks or maples, the great majority were redbuds and mimosas, members of the legume family.

Legume trees are highly prolific species, producing numerous seed pods while also spreading via suckers.  In addition, most species adapt well to a wide variety of soil conditions, out-competing shrubs and trees that have more specific requirements.  While we enjoy the beauty of redbuds in the spring and mimosas in summer, their seedlings spring up on every piece of open soil on our Columbia, Missouri, property.

In like manner, black and New Mexico locusts and honeylocusts, also legumes, spread across our Littleton, Colorado, farm, invading the "lawns" and pastures; without regular clipping, a forest of locusts would soon cover much of the property.  Though these trees also produce abundant seed pods, suckering is their primary means of spread in the semiarid environment of the Front Range.  See also Bean Trees and Mimosas.