Leucaena leucocephala Lamk. (Leguminosae)
Vernacular name: kratin thai
Common name: ipil-ipil (English), ginnemu (Japanese)
Shrub or small tree up to 10 m high. Leaves alternate, bipinnate, rachis 15-20 cm long; gland often present below the junction of the basal pair of pinnae, orbicular; pinnae 3-10 pairs, up to 10 cm long; leaflets 5-20 pair, 6-21 by 1.5-5 mm, linear or linear-oblong; base slightly, obliquely cuneate, apex acute; both surfaces glabrous, margins ciliate, lower surface glaucous. Inflorescence globose head, 1-3 together, peduncles 2-5 cm long. Calyx c. 2.5 mm long, tubular-campanulate, glabrous at the base, puberulous at the apex, teeth triangular, acute, puberulous. Petals c. 4.5-5 mm long, spathulate, puberulous. Stamens 10, filaments 8-10 mm long. Ovary hairy at apex, stipitate. Pod up to 2 by 20 cm, strap-shaped, straight, flat, dehiscent. Seeds 15-30, 6-9 by 3-4.5 mm, narrowly ovate, compressed, apex obtuse, base cuneate, c. 4 by 1.5 mm.
Commonly cultivated as hedge plant and escaped as nuisant weed in waste places throughout Thailand. Young shoots and young pods are eaten raw as side dish with other hot and spicy dish. Highly antioxidative.
They can be grown by direct seed sowing in rows as hedge plants. The seeds should be soaked in lukeworm water and leave overnight to promote uniform germination.