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Leucaena retusa

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Leucaena retusa

Apparently Secure  (NatureServe)[1]
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Caesalpinioideae
Clade: Mimosoid clade
Genus: Leucaena
L. retusa
Binomial name
Leucaena retusa
Natural range

Leucaena retusa is a species of flowering plant in the legume family known by the common names littleleaf leadtree, goldenball leadtree, wahoo tree, and lemonball.[2] It is native to Chihuahua and Coahuila in Mexico and Texas in the United States.[3] It also occurs in New Mexico.[2][1]

This plant is a small tree that can reach 7.5 m (25 ft) in height. The leaves are bright green to blue-green[4] in color and each is divided into several leaflets.[2] The spherical flowers are yellow to white in color.[4] The trees flower in April through October and they tend to flower profusely after rain. The fruit is a legume pod up to 25 cm (10 in) in length. The wood is weak and breaks easily.[2][4]

This tree grows in dry habitat and it is drought-tolerant.[2] It is adapted to alkaline soils and full sunlight.[4] It is often cultivated as an ornamental plant for its attractive appearance. It is easily grown from seed and it will reseed itself.[2] It can even become weedy.[4] It is not considered useful as a honey plant or for its wood.[2]

Animals such as livestock and white-tailed deer find the herbage palatable. The seeds are also high in protein.[2]


  1. ^ a b Leucaena retusa. NatureServe.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Leucaena retusa. USDA NRCS Plant Guide.
  3. ^ "Leucaena retusa". Germplasm Resources Information Network. Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d e Leucaena retusa. USDA FS Fact Sheet.