Common name: Leucaena, Lead Tree, Wild Tamarind
Malay name: Petai Belalang
Scientific name: Leucaena leucocephala
Conservation status: Cultivated, Naturalised, Introduced (Central America)
A shrub or small tree that grows 3-15 m tall. Leaves are doubly divided. It bears white, hairy flowers arranged in round clusters. The tree produces long, flattened seed pods which turn from green to brown and burst open when ripe.
Habit: Perennial shrub or tree
Cultivation: It is planted by seeds or cuttings
Ecological function: The flowers attract generalist pollinators. The tree can fix nitrogen in soil. The leaves are rich in nitrogen and can be used as green manure. It is planted as a shade tree as well as a living fence. This plant is used to control soil erosion.
Soil: Sand, loam, clay
Moisture: Well-drained, fertile soils. This tree is drought-tolerant
Shade: No shade
Use: Edible (seed, fruit, young leaf, flower bud), timber (paper pulp)