The white leadtree (Leucaena leucocephala) is a shrub tree that grows 22 to 60 feet (7 to 18 m). Farmers plant it as a shade tree for crops like coffee and cacao, which grow better in the shade. The legumes that the white leadtree produces make a nutrient-rich food for cattle. This tree’s roots are also useful for preventing erosion – they grow as long as 15 feet (5 m) to reach water deep underground.
The seeds of this tree come in beige pods, and its flowers are white or cream-colored. It has small leaves that come in pairs, with one leaf on each side of the stem. This species continuously seeds and flowers throughout the year.
This tree is self-seeding, making it a resilient species. The pods split open to release the 18 to 22 seeds in the pods. In some parts of the world the white lead tree is considered invasive because of the speed with which it can reproduce, without help from animals or other external forces.