objective. the chemical composition and ruminal degradability of ten cultivars of leucaena leucocephala lam de wit were examined using principal components analysis (pca). materials and methods. chemical composition, secondary metabolite level and ruminal degradability in sheep were evaluated over three years. using spss statistical software, groups of accession of the nutritive characteristics were obtained with a three-dimensional diagram. results. a high variability for the first three components was detected (85.83%). protein, fiber fraction, minerals and phenols, phytates and ruminal degradability showed the biggest fluctuations. six groups with distinctive characteristics were identified, including g1: high protein quantity, low fiber proportion and secondary metabolites and high degradation -cv. cnia-250 and cv. k-28-; g-2: high dry matter, proteins and phenols content, low fiber proportion and tannins and low ruminal degradability -cv. ipil-ipil-; g-3: standard chemical composition -cv. méxico-; g-4: low dry matter, phenols and mimosine content and high ruminal degradability -cv. cunningham, cv. 7 and cv. américa-; g-5: high contento f dry matter, phenols and medium nutritive value -cv. k-8 y cv. k-67-; g-6: high dry matter and tannin percentage, and low nutritive value (cv. perú). conclusions. the edible biomass of l. leucocephala cultivars cunningham, américa, 7, méxico, cnia-250 and k-28 constitutes the best options for animal feeding.