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Leucaena leucocephala (= L. glabra)

White Leadtree

A pretty, Acacia-like, medium-sized tree that is probably originally native to Central America, with feathery foliage and round white flowers. It makes a fairly attractive ornamental but is also widely used for firewood, fodder and pulp production and is, in fact, so vigorous that it is considered a weed in some places. This is essentially a tree for the tropics as it is tender to cold.

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germination comments by our visitors
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Also see plant cultivation comments below.

Seeds from this species ...

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plant cultivation comments by our visitors
Also see germination commnets above.

Plants from this species ...

... are of average ornamental value
In London in United Kingdom they need little care and grow fast.
This plant is a lot more cold tolerant than is generally thought. I have grown it on an exposed 18th floor balcony in central London for the last 7 years, it even came through the last two chilly winters with very little protection (mainly reduced watering). The year before last it even flowered in late autumn shortly before the cold set in. One curious feature is that the nyctinastic behavior of the leaves stops once the temperature drops below about 5 degrees celsius. The plant came from seed I was given by a friend over twenty years ago that originated from a forestry project in Zimbabwe. It has survived neglect and underwatering for much of that time; evey few years I chop it right down to the ground and it resprouts vigorously. Currently it is about 1. 5 metres high, it is grown in very ordinary potting compost with added grit and gets watered when I remember to! The plant receives direct sunlight for about 8 hours a day on average throughout the year.
Submitted on 08/01/2012 by Mark Spencer

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If you wish to read more on palm cultivation, we highly recommend Ornamental Palm Horticulture by Timothy K. Broschat and Alan W. Meerow, available in our bookshop.

Ratings and comments reflect individual experiences and the views of our visitors. They do not necessarily describe the most appropriate methods, nor are they necessarily valid for all seeds or plants of this species. Germination and plant cultivation success depends on many different factors; nevertheless, these experiences will hopefully aid you in your effort to get the best germination results from our seeds and the best growth results from your plants.

We recommend:
The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms

The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms
by Robert Lee Riffle, Paul Craft, Scott Zona

2nd edition
Completely revised and updated

Hardcover - 528 pages
11 x 8.5 inches

Our rating:
Suitable for: all

The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms is the definitive account of all palms that can be grown for ornamental and economic use. Palms are often underutilized as a result of their unfamiliarity—even to tropical gardeners. To help introduce these valuable plants to a new audience, the authors have exhaustively documented every genus in the palm family.
825 species are described in detail, including cold hardiness, water needs, height, and any special requirements. Generously illustrated with more than 900 photos, including photos of several palm species that have never before appeared in a general encyclopedia, The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms is as valuable as an identification guide as it is a practical handbook. Interesting snippets of history, ethnobotany, and biology inform the text and make this a lively catalog of these remarkable plants.

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