T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Leucaena leucocephala (Wild Tamarind)

Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Caesalpinioideae
(unranked): Mimosoid clade
Genus: Leucaena
Species: L. leucocephala
Binomial name: Leucaena leucocephala
Synonyms: Acacia frondosa, Acacia glauca. Acacia leucocephala,
Acacia leucophala, Leucaena glabra, Leucaena glauca, Mimosa glauca sensu, Mimosa glauca, Mimosa leucocephala, Mimosa leucophala
Common names: Wild Tamarind, White leadtree, Lead tree, Jumbay, River tamarind, Subabul, White popinac, Coffee bush, Miracle Lead Tree

Leucaena leucocephala is a small fast-growing, highly invasive, mimosoid tree native to southern Mexico and northern Central America. It is now naturalised throughout the tropics and in some temperate areas including Australia and New Zealand. It grows quickly and forms dense thickets that crowd out all native vegetation. It grows along arid roadsides, coastal areas, riparian habitats, shrublands and abandoned land. 
Leucaena leucocephala is considered one of the 100 worst invasive species by the Invasive Species Specialist Group of the IUCN Species Survival Commission.

Leucaena leucocephala is a leguminous shrub or small tree growing 5-10m. It had dull greyish-green bipinnate leaves, (<25 cm). Pinnae 4-9 pairs, leaflets <17 in opposite pairs.
It has globe shaped white flowers which develop into clusters of dark brown wattle like seed pods that are up to 20 cm long. The 6 mm seeds are a glossy brown. They are dispersed by birds, small mammals, gravity and by soil movement.

 


The globe shaped white flowers 


Developing seed pods
 

Mature seed pods.

Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/