Leucaena Benth.

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Credits

Article from New Trees, Ross Bayton & John Grimshaw

Recommended citation
'Leucaena' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/leucaena/). Accessed 2020-10-28.

Family

  • Leguminosae (Mimosoideae)

Species in genus

Glossary

acute
Sharply pointed.
axillary
Situated in an axil.
capitate
Head-like.
dehiscent
Opening naturally. (Cf. indehiscent.)
hermaphrodite
Having both male and female parts in a single flower; bisexual.
inflorescence
Flower-bearing part of a plant; arrangement of flowers on the floral axis.
legume
Two-valved fruit formed from a single carpel widely known as a ‘pod’ typical of most members of the legume family (Leguminosae). The word has come to be used as much for members of the family as for their distinctive fruits.
nectary
Gland or surface from which nectar is secreted.
ovate
Egg-shaped; broadest towards the stem.
imparipinnate
Odd-pinnate; (of a compound leaf) with a central rachis and an uneven number of leaflets due to the presence of a terminal leaflet. (Cf. paripinnate.)
peduncle
Stalk of inflorescence.
peltate
Disc-shaped and attached at centre of lower surface to a stalk (e.g. leaf of Nasturtium Tropaeolum majus).
pendent
Hanging.
petiolate
Bearing a petiole.
rachis
Central axis of an inflorescence cone or pinnate leaf.
sessile
Lacking a stem or stalk.
staminate
Male referring to male plants (dioecy) or flowers (monoecy) or the male parts of a hermaphrodite flower.
subulate
Awl-shaped.
terete
Like a slender tapering cylinder.
venation
Pattern of veins (nerves) especially in a leaf.
whorl
Arrangement of three or more organs (leaves flowers) around a central axis. whorled Arranged in a whorl.

References

There are currently no active references in this article.

Credits

Article from New Trees, Ross Bayton & John Grimshaw

Recommended citation
'Leucaena' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/leucaena/). Accessed 2020-10-28.

Twenty-two species of Leucaena are recognised, all occurring in the New World, from Texas south to Peru. Among these, L. leucocephala is an important fodder crop, and has become a widespread weed in tropical areas around the world; it is also the only member of the genus to be cultivated in temperate gardens. Leucaena species are evergreen, unarmed trees or shrubs that branch at ground level or form a short bole of 3–5 m. Young stems are terete or, rarely, angled and the bark is greyish brown with rusty fissures. Stipules are ovate, subulate or long and pointed, and have small, asymmetrical basal wings; they are persistent or deciduous. The leaves are bipinnate and paripinnate and the rachis has a single-stalked (rarely double) nectary; nectaries are also present at the base of the terminal (and some subterminal) pairs of pinnae. The pinnae occur as two to many pairs, with few to numerous pinnules; the pinnules are opposite, sessile or short-petiolate, oblong to elliptic and with acute or rounded apices; venation is obscure. The inflorescences are capitate and in axillary fascicles of one to many; the peduncle has a whorl of fused bracts. The flowers are mainly hermaphrodite, though a few staminate flowers may occur at the base of the inflorescence; they are 5-merous and subtended by persistent, peltate bracts; the sepals and petals are rather insignificant, but the stamens are prominent, white or cream (rarely yellow or red); one distinctive feature of Leucaena is the anthers, which are hairy. The fruit is a pendent, dehiscent legume with a small apical beak (Allen & Allen 1981, Hughes 1998).

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