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Products > Leucaena retusa
Leucaena retusa - Goldenball Leadtree

Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Mimosaceae (~Fabales)
Origin: North America
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Yellow
Bloomtime: Spring/Summer
Fragrant Flowers: Yes
Synonyms: [Acacia sabeana]
Height: 15-25 feet
Width: 10-15 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 0-10 F
Leucaena retusa (Goldenball Leadtree) - A semi-evergreen (in coastal California) to winter deciduous and thornless open large shrub or small tree that typically grows 12 to 15 feet tall, but can get to up to 25 feet. It has cinnamon colored bark and airly light green to blue-green bipinate leaves. From spring through summer appear in abundance the showy 1 1/2 inch wide rounded clusters of sweet smelling golden-yellow flowers at the branch tips. Plant in full sun in a well-drained soil and water only occasionally - this is a drought, heat and cold tolerant plant but it flowers well after monsoonal rains, so occasional summer irrigation might prolong the bloom in summer months. Hardy to around 5F and useful in USDA Zones 7 and above. Prune to shape when young. An interesting clean tree with open lacy feel and attractive fragrant flowers that are sometimes described as "fuzzy balls". This plant is native to rocky well drained sandy and limestone soils in dry canyons from the western portions of the Edwards Plateau and the Trans-Pecos area in Texas, west to New Mexico and south in Chihuahua and Coahuila in Mexico from 1500 to 5500 feet. The name of the genus comes from the Greek 'leukos' meaning "white" in reference to the color of the flowers of some species. The specific epithet is from the Latin word 'retusus' meaning "a blunt" or "notched tip" in reference tips of the leaflets. Other common names for this plant include Littleleaf Leadtree, Little Leucaena, Lemonball and Wahoo Tree.  Information on this page is based on research conducted in our nursery library, from online sources, as well as from observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery's garden and in other gardens where we have observed it. We also will incorporate comments received from others and welcome getting feedback of any kind from those who have additional information, particularly if this information is contrary to what we have written or includes additional cultural tips would aid others in growing Leucaena retusa.