Flaigg, Norman G.
Leucaena retusa Benth.
Goldenball leadtree, Littleleaf leadtree
Fabaceae (Pea Family)
or small tree
with many showy balls of golden-yellow flowers throughout spring and summer. Little-leaf leadtree or goldenball leadtree is a small, multi-trunked tree
or large shrub,12-15 ft. tall, which can reach 25 ft. Airy, light-green foliage occurs on brittle stems. Bark
is flaky and cinnamon-colored. Sweet-smelling flowers occur in 1 in., yellow-orange globes and will appear after every rain from summer through fall.
This attractive, small tree
is sometimes cultivated in warm regions for the showy yellow flowers, conspicuous pods, and evergreen
foliage. It is a good browse plant for cattle.
Image Gallery: 20 photo(s) available
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Tree Leaf Retention: Evergreen Leaf Arrangement: Alternate Leaf Complexity: Bipinnate Size Notes:
Blue Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct
NM , TX Native Distribution:
In TX, Edwards Plateau w. to Davis & Chisos Mts.; also n. Mex. Native Habitat:
Rocky, limestone areas; dry canyons. Western Edwards Plateau. Well-drained loam, sand, clay, limestone, caliche. USDA Native Status: L48(N)
Growing ConditionsWater Use:
Low Light Requirement:
Part Shade Soil Moisture:
Dry CaCO3 Tolerance:
High Cold Tolerant:
Dry, rocky, limestone or igneous soils. Rocky, Limestone-based, Caliche type, Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay. Conditions Comments:
Goldenball lead-tree is a gorgeous small tree
that grows well in rocky soil. The yellow puffball flowers exude a sweet aroma. Its wood is rather weak and has been known to snap in strong winds. Open enough that sun-loving species can bloom underneath.
BenefitConspicuous Flowers: yes
Fragrant Flowers: yes
Deer Resistant: Minimal