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Flaigg, Norman G.
Leucaena retusa Benth.
Goldenball leadtree, Littleleaf leadtree
USDA Symbol: lere5
USDA Native Status: L48 (N)
Evergreen, slender shrub 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.
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
, 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.
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
PropagationPropagation Material: Seeds
Description: Easily grown from fresh seed. Semi-hardwood cuttings in summer will root.
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes
Wildflower Center Seed BankLBJWC-1097
Collected 2011-08-17 in Brewster County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Record Last Modified: 2009-04-23
Research By: TWC Staff