White Popinac - Leucaena leucocephala

Whenever I look at the White Popinac flower up close it reminds me of the images of microscopic life forms taken with a powerful microscope. The flowers are these little (2cm diameter) balls that are creamy white with a greenish tone toward the inside. The image above illustrates what they look like far better than my descriptions.
The White Popinac is native to Mexico but has been introduced into many other countries for a variety of purposes. Its uses range from a simple ornamental tree for its unique flowers to firewood to livestock feed and as a tree that is good for the environment.
It is not a very big tree. Of the ones I have seen none is taller than 5 meters (16 feet).


  1. I have got a WHITE Popinac, which I grew from seed,it was sown last spring and is now 44inches tall,it has doubled its height so far this year,(2nd August 2008) time of writing.It has flowered profusly this year, but has not produced any pods.I live in northan england,nr Hull. Mr D W Keohane.

  2. I like to take wood apart and discover what specific properties the wood has underneath the bark. Popinac, for example, has a specific gravity that ranges from the mid-40s to the low 50s. Its South Texas cousin, Tepaguaje, has a specific gravity ranging in the mid-50s. Popinac is an extremely fibrous wood and that might be the reason it makes such wonderful selfbows. (I've made quite a few of these bows using woods common to South Texas and other regions trying to discover what the Indians of various locales used.)Popinac will grow very straight if allowed to grow where there is a great deal of intra-species composition. When you debark the stave it will give off a distinctive odor that some might find offensive.

  3. Arturo - thanks for the informative comment! I am especially interested in trees used for bows and by indigenous peoples in general.