The Problem with Leucaena

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.

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.

Further Information
Leucaena fact sheet