Gliricidia Growing Information
© Frances Michaels
Botanical Name:Gliricidia sepium
syn. G. maculata
Mexican lilac, Madre de cacao, Cacao de nance, cacahnanance,
Kakawate, Mata Raton, Madriado, Quickstick, glory cedar, nicaraguan cacao shade, Saint Vincent plum, tree of iron
A small, thornless tree that grows to 10 m high. It has an open crown and an often contorted trunk that is 30 cm
or less in diameter. It produces dense masses of attractive white or pink flowers. It is only suited to frost-free
Sow during the wet season, when soil temperature is over 25°C.
Soak the seed in hot water, cool off during the night, sow the
next morning. Sow individual seeds in containers such as recycled milk cartons or forestry tubes. Transplant
while the ground is still moist.
cover seed lightly and firm down.
Plant out at 1 - 2 m spacings.
Gliricidia seedlings establish better under shade than in full sun.
- Intercrop; it is ideal as a shade tree for crops such as cacao, coffee, vanilla and tea, the foliage is
rich in nitrogen and can be cut as mulch.
- Fuelwood; very useful as a firewood with a calorific value of 4,900 kcal per kg, it also coppices well.
- Timber; the wood finishes smoothly and is suitable for furniture and tool handles. It is highly resistant
to termites and decay and is also used for posts and heavy construction.
- Living fence; Gliricidia is easily propagated by cuttings, provided there is ample soil moisture. Even
large branches will sprout roots and grow when they are stuck in the ground. A row of these makes a very
effective living fence or windbreak that will last many years without maintenance.
- Fodder; the leaves contain over 20% crude protein and are nutritious for cattle but are
TOXIC TO HORSES AND MOST OTHER ANIMALS.
- Bee forage; good source of nectar for bees.
Available as seed: Gliricidia
Firewood Crops; Shrub and Tree Species for Energy Production
, National Academy of Sciences, Washington D.C., 1980