Leucaena leucocephala (FABACEAE) Leucaena

Weeds to Whack

A shrub or small tree, extensively used in farming as a nitrogen-fixing fodder. Established stands of leucaena form dense thickets, hindering the movement of wildlife and excluding all other plants. Weed risk: extreme. Leaves are about 25 cm long and bipinnate, with dull, greyish-green leaflets. Flower heads are spherical and creamy yellow in colour on short stalks about 5 cm long. Fruit are flattened pods up to 15 cm long occur in dense clusters, each pod containing around 20 glossy brown, flat seeds that scatter when ripe. Leucocephala means white head.
Photo: Robert Whyte