Leucaena retusa

Accession Count: 7
Common Name: Golden Ball Lead Tree, Golden Leadball
Family Name: Fabaceae
Botanical Name: Leucaena retusa
Synonyms:
Family Synonyms: Leguminosae
Sub Species:
Variety:
Forma:
Cultivar:
Characteristics: Leucaena retusa has alternating light green bipinnate leaves, there tend to be about two-five pairs and four-eight pairs of oblong shaped leaflets on each. This slender shrub or small tree have thin brittle branches and can have multiple flaky cinnamon-brown trunks. During spring they produce multiple bright yellow puff-ball flowers , that are one inch and will grow after every rain fall from summer to fall (2).
Compound: Leu ret
Geographic Origin: Texas
Ecozone Origin: Nearctic
Biome Origin: SW
Natural History: This plant is endemic to North America and  has been distributed to Texas, Arizona, Alabama, and New mexico (2 ,3, 4).  
Cultivation Notes: This is a fairly slow growing plant, that grows best in full sun with little to no supplemental watering. It is a hardy plant up to 5℉, but the brittle wood can break very easily, thus its important to shelter it from the wind. Pruning and training this tree can make it a perfect patio tree for shade (1). This tree is easy to grow from seed and is the preferred method but it can also be grown from cuttings. The time to plant this tree is to directly sow in the fall or after the last frost (4). To store seeds collect, crack open, and clean for later sowing. This tree is suited for xeriscaping and need full to partial sunlight (4). However, this plant has know to be invasive and seeds itself into unwanted areas (6).
Ethnobotany: This plant is often prized for it's landscaping application as an ornamental (5).This species can be a great patio plant, barrier, or a screen (1). The seeds can be used for food and for alley cropping. When it comes to prevent erosion and restoration this tree is excellent. It is useful for restoring native habitats in the country hillside of West Taxes (5).

Height: 11 - 15 feet
Width: 11 - 15 feet
Growth Rate: Slow Growing
Grow Season: Summer
Flower Season: Spring
Color: Yellow
Function: Patio
Spread: Non-spreading
Allergen: Non-allergenic
Invasive: Invasive
Toxicity: Benign
Hardy: Hardy
Water Use: Low water Use

Citations:
  1. Mielke, Judy. Native Plants for Southwestern Landscapes. University of Texas Press, 1993.
  2. wildflower.org. Retrieved March 8, 2019.
  3. plants.usda.gov. Retrieved March 8, 2019.
  4. davesgarden.com. Retrieved March 8, 2019.
  5. plants.usda.gov. Retrieved March 8, 2019.
  6. hort.ufl.edu. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
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Leucaena retusa