River Tamarind or White Leadtree
Native to northern Central America, this fast-growing tree is commonly known as the River Tamarind or White Leadtree, and primarily used as a green manure or animal fodder.
Growing between 2-10m tall, it bears bipinnate leaves up to 35cm long with up to 10 pairs of branchlets. Leaftlets are lanceolate with slightly hairy edges.
FLowers cluster in a pompom shape on stalks around 5cm long, growing from leaf axils. Flowers are whiteish yellow in colour and around 3cm in diameter. Fruits appear as flat pods up to 22cm long, turning brown as they mature; the seeds can be eaten raw or cooked, or even roasted and used as a coffee substitute.
Because the Leucaena trees as so fast growing they are used for biomass, firewood and charcoal production. Trees are also highly efficient in nitrogen fixation.
Prefers a well draining soil and full sun.
Frost tender and should not be kept below 10°C.