Lancepod is a medium-sized tree up to 30 feet; it has a short trunk with smooth brown bark and a spreading dense crown of slightly drooping branches. Leaves are evergreen, pinnate, smooth, dark green above, paler beneath, to 8 inches long; leaflets are ovate, parchment-like, rounded at the base and 1/4 inch long. Flowers are borne in erect clusters, 6-10 inches long, composed of sweetly-fragrant, pea-like lavender blooms resembling lilacs, and attracting bees. Fruits are lance-shaped, pointed, pod, 2 1/2 x 1 inch, changing from green to light brown when mature, containing a single kidney-shaped brown seed. Lancepod takes its common name from the fruit shape; seeds are used for propagation. The leaves contain an active poison, the base for an organic insecticide; the bark is used in central america to brew an intoxicating beverage known as balche. Other parts of the plant are also poisonous and honey from the flowers may be dangerous to consume. Lancepod is a hardy tree and can be grown on a range of poor soils, if well-drained. Despite the precautions associate with the lancepod, it is a very attractive tree with lacy leaves and strikingly colored flowers. In landscaping it can be grown as a specimen, accent or shade tree or shrub in gardens and parks, in civic centers, in large planters and in xerophytic gardens.