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Leucaena glauca

Pronunciation: Loo-kay-nuh glaw-ka
Family: Fabaceae
Synonym: Leucaena latisiluqua, mimosa leucocephala
Common Name: Lead tree, white lead tree
Plant Type:
  • trees, shrubs
Height to: 50'
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • 30 to 20ºF ZONE 9
  • 40 to 30ºF ZONE 10
  • 50 to 40ºF ZONE 11
  • 60 to 50ºF ZONE 12
Notes for Identification: Origin: from tropical america, but has naturalized in tropical and subtropical regions worldwide (pan-tropical) hardiness zones sunset 13-24 usda 9-11 landscape use: medium-sized, mesic or oasis tree for light shade and spring floral accent. In irrigated phoenix landscapes (the oasis desert), this tree is highly invasive!!! Form & character: open-canopied upright evergreen tree with an eventual broad based canopy, tropical effect. Growth habit: very fast upright growth to 50', weak wooded and brittle. Foliage/texture: alternate, twice pinnately compound leaves, to 10" long; secondary rachis about 5 (4-9) pairs, up to 3-4" long, leaflets about 12 (11-17) pairs, leaflets linear to < 1/8" long, trunk is brownish to gray, smooth, young branches and stems have prominent lenticels; medium texture. Flowers & fruits: pin cushion like pom-pom flower heads in terminal clusters, greenish yellow or white, produced during spring. Fruit is an extended a brownish pod (green when immature) to 6" long, clustered, persistent on the tree. Seasonal color: flowers in late april to early may temperature: tolerant light: full sun to partial shade soil: highly tolerant watering: lead tree is incredible adaptible to a diversity of soil moisture regimes. Irrigation in phoenix strongly stimulates growth. Pruning: elevate canopy base and agressively rouge emergent seedlings when they are small!!. Propagation: prolific seed producer, propagates very easily by seed. Disease and pests: none, though this tree itself has become an invasive species in urban phoenix. Additional comments: invasive alert!!! Lead tree has established a naturalized foothold in the south phoenix area and is rapidly spreading throughout the city. shown in this image are lead trees that germinated from seed in place of where once grew pyrus calleryana trees on the arizona state tempe campus. And yes, i know what you're thinking. Callery pear is a lousy tree choice for the phoenix area. To summarize, lead tree is clearly vigorously invading the phoenix urban ecosystem and as such should be thought of as an invasive species. Because of it's invasiveness, i would strongly discourage anyone from planting this tree in any arizona landscape. Lead tree is one of the highest quality and most palatable fodder trees of the tropics. And no, there are no cows grazing in the backyards of phoenix homes, though the stench of local dairies in the southeast and southwest portions of the phoenix metro tend to irritate some. Source: asu
USDA Heat Zones (days above 86ºF):
  • 120 to 150 days ZONE 9
  • 150 to 180 days ZONE 10
  • 180 to 210 days ZONE 11
Seed photo: 0
Located in: Trees, Shrubs
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