Food Plants International - Plant Fact Sheets Gliricidia sepium - Mother of Cacao
Edible portion: Leaves, Flowers, Vegetable, Caution
An evergreen shrub or tree. It grows to 10 m high and spreads to 3 m across. The crown is irregular. The bark is grey. The stem is erect and branching. The young branches are hairy. The leaves are compound with 8 to 14 leaflets. These are 7 cm long and 3 cm wide. They come to a blunt tip at the top end and are rounded at the base. The flowers are pink and yellow in the centre with a green stripe. They are pea shaped. The flowers occur in 10 cm long clusters. They are produced on older twigs. The fruit is a woody pod 15 cm long and up to 2 cm wide. The seeds are purplish brown and round. They are 1 cm long and 9 mm wide.
A tropical plant. It grows best in warm, seasonally dry climates. It occurs in areas with 900-1500 mm annual rainfall. It grows between sea level and 1200 m altitude. It suits areas with a mean annual temperature of 20-27°C. It does best with light well composted soil. The soil needs to be well drained. It needs a protected sunny position. It is damaged by drought and frost. It grows with soil pH between 5.0-8.5. It suits hardiness zones 10-12. In XTBG Yunnan.