Pests

Leucaena

The Problem

Leucaena leucacephala is a large shrub, originating from Central America. In our tropical coastal area Leucaena leucacephala subspecies leucopehala has become a weed, invading creek banks, roadsides and mangrove margins. Experts advise that while the subspecies leucopehala is predominant, a number of other subspecies can be identified in the Mackay Whitsunday Region.
However this specie, Leucaena leucacephala subspecies leucopehala is often confused with Leucaena leucacephala subspecies glabrata which is widely grown in drier areas as cattle fodder. Due to the ability of this species to spread Leucaena leucacephala subspecies glabrata is grown under guidelines in a voluntary management agreement, designed to prevent spread out of managed pastures.
Leucaena leucacephala subspecies leucocephala is now a locally declared weed in the Whitsunday Regional Council boundaries.

Project Description

The Mackay Regional Pest Management Group received $20,000.00 from Blueprint for the Bush to Plan for the Management of Leucaena in the Mackay Whitsunday Region. This was a twelve month program and involved the following steps:

  • Data Gathering
  • Mapping
  • Trial Plots
  • Draft Leucaena Management Strategy and Plan

The goal of the project was to prevent the further spread of the species and begin eradication in key areas. A working group was established to manage the project and liaise with stakeholders.

Project report

The Plant

  • Leucaena leucacephala subspecies leucocephala is a small tree growing up to 6 meters in height.
  • It grows in dense clusters
  • Pods are brown and flattened 5.5 to 17 cm long and 15 to 20 mm wide. These pods contain 5-24 glossy brown seeds.

References

The State of Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries 2007, Leucaena leucocephala, Fact Sheet, viewed 20 March 2012,
The Mackay Regional Pest Management Group 2012, Weeds of the Mackay Whitsunday Region, Draft

Further Information

Leucaena fact sheet

trial-sites-May-2009-030

Key Contact

Name: Emily Wood
Position: Project Officer – Pests and Weeds
Ph: (07) 4945 2321
M: 0419 778 402
E: Emily Wood