White leadtree

Leucaena leucocephala (Fabaceae)

Characteristics

Small, fast-growing tree. Used for a variety of purposes, such as fencing, soil fertility (N-Fixation), firewood (high biomass production), fiber and livestock fodder (high protein content). During the 1970s and 1980s, it was promoted as a “miracle tree” for its multiple uses. However, it has also been described as a “conflict tree” because it is used for forage production but spreads like a weed in some places (highly invasive).

Distribution

Native to southern Mexico and northern Central America (Belize and Guatemala) and now naturalized throughout the tropics.

Natural Medical Properties

No known.

Did you know?

The legume provides an excellent source of high-protein cattle fodder. However, the fodder contains Mimosine, a toxic amino acid. Horses and donkeys which are fed it lose their hair.

Further reading:

Literature

World Flora Online
WorldChecklist of Selected Plant Families
A working list of all plant species