Leucaena leucocephala (Lam.) deWit Lead tree  - Fabaceae

Native to tropical America, Leucaena leucocephala, the lead tree, is a shrub or small tree of sandy soils.  It is now naturalized in southern Florida, Hawaii and elsewhere.  Flattened pods three to six inches long with thick margins contain several brown, shiny seeds that resemble apple seeds.

Young fruits, leaves and flower buds are cooked and eaten in Java.  In the West Indies the seeds are eaten with rice.5 Ripe seeds have been used as a coffee substitute in the Philippines.6

Mimosine, a compound in the seeds and leaves, is a natural depilatory fed to sheep by Australian farmers to facilitate shedding of their wool.

Seeds are made into intricate necklaces in many tropical countries.

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