littleleaf leadtree Fabaceae Leucaena
retusa Benth. symbol: LERE5
Leaf: Alternate, bipinnately compound, 3 to 6 inches long, usually with three pairs of major leaflets, each major leaflet with 10 to 15 pairs of ovate to narrowly lanceolate minor leaflets (1/2 inch long) with entire margins; green to blue-green above, paler below.
Flower: Species is monoecious; many small, yellow to white, in a tight round cluster (balls), to 1 1/2 inch across on a 2 to 3 inch long stalk, fragrant, appearing April through October after rainfall.
Fruit: A straight red-brown flattened pod to 8 inches; ripening spring through fall.
Twig: Slender, green to red-brown, somewhat angled, may be finely pubescent; buds small and wedge-shaped.
Bark: Gray-brown and smooth.
Form: A large shrub or small tree with a broadly spreading crown to 25 feet but more commonly smaller.
Looks like: honey mesquite - screwbean mesquite - velvet mesquite - catclaw acacia
Additional Range Information: Leucaena retusa is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting.
External Links: USDA Plants Database - Horticulture Information
All material © 2018 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson; Silvics reprinted from Ag Handbook 654; range maps courtesy USGS from USDA "Atlas of United States Trees" by Elbert L. Little, Jr., Vol. 1 (1971) 3 (1976) 4 (1977) 5 (1978)