Leucaena retusa Benth.
Goldenball leadtree, Littleleaf leadtree, Little leucaena, Lemonball, Wahoo tree
Fabaceae (Pea Family)
USDA Symbol: lere5
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.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Bipinnate
Size Notes: 12-24
Size Class: 12-36 ft.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct
DistributionUSA: 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.
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Cold Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: 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
From the National Suppliers DirectoryAccording to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:
Wrights Nursery - Briggs, TX
Hill Country Natives - Leander, TX
Far South Wholesale Nursery - Austin, TX
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
Texas Discovery Gardens - Dallas, TX
Native Plant Society of Texas - Fredericksburg, TX
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department - Austin, TX
NPSOT - Fredericksburg Chapter - Fredericksburg, TX
NPSOT - Austin Chapter - Austin, TX
NPSOT - Williamson County Chapter - Georgetown, TX
Wildflower Center Seed BankLBJWC-1097 Collected 2007-08-16 in Brewster County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
BibliographyBibref 298 - Field Guide to Texas Trees (1999) Simpson, B.J.
Bibref 355 - Landscaping with Native Plants of Texas and the Southwest (1991) Miller, G. O.
Bibref 995 - Native Landscaping from El Paso to L.A. (2000) Wasowski, S. and A. Wasowski
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
Bibref 291 - Texas Wildscapes: Gardening for Wildlife (1999) Damude, N. & K.C. Bender
Bibref 297 - Trees of Central Texas (1984) Vines, Robert A.
Bibref 286 - Wildflowers of the Texas Hill Country (1989) Enquist, M.
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Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Leucaena retusa in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Leucaena retusa in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Leucaena retusa
MetadataRecord Modified: 2015-11-11
Research By: TWC Staff