Leucaena (Leucaena leucocephala (Lam.) de Wit)

Machado, R.; Milera, M.; Menendez, J.; Garcia, T.R.

Pastos y Forrajes 1(3): 321-347


Accession: 000921542

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Aspects of the toxonomy, botanical characteristics, origins, distribution and adaptation, breeding, seed characteristics, yields, nutritive value, toxicity, and utilization in animal production of L. leucocephala are reviewed. It is native to Central America but is now widely distributed in tropical and subtropical regions. It has a high nutritive value as animal feed and the leaves contain 19-30% CP and high values of TDN (54-70%), P, Ca and carotene. Forage yields are generally >10 t DM/ha yr and with good cv. and management it is possible to obtain 20 t DM/ha yr. L. leucocephala is persistent even at high stocking rates. Its principal disadvantage for intensive utilization is the high content (3-5%) of the toxic non-protein amino acid mimosine, and it should therefore not form more than 50% of the daily ration.