Leucaena retusa

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.[1] It is native to Chihuahua and Coahuila in Mexico and Texas in the United States.[2] It also occurs in New Mexico.[1][3]

Leucaena retusa
Leucaena retusa.jpg

Apparently Secure (NatureServe)
Scientific classification
L. retusa
Binomial name
Leucaena retusa
Leucaena retusa range map.jpg
Natural range

This plant is a small tree that can reach 25 feet in height. The leaves are bright green to blue-green[4] in color and each is divided into several leaflets.[1] 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 10 inches in length. The wood is weak and breaks easily.[1][4]

This tree grows in dry habitat and it is drought-tolerant.[1] 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.[1] It can even become weedy.[4] It is not considered useful as a honey plant or for its wood.[1]

Animals such as livestock and white-tailed deer find the herbage palatable. The seeds are also high in protein.[1]


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

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