The development of toxicity produced by vegetable litter of four forest species (Quercus robur L.,Pinus radiata D.Don.,Eucalyptus globulus Labill, andAcacia melanoxylon R.Br.) was studied during the decomposition process in each of the soils where the species were found. The toxicity of the extracts was measured by the effects produced on germination and growth ofLactuca saliva L. var. Great Lakes seeds. The phenolic composition of the leaves of the four species was also studied using high-performance liquid chromatographic analysis (HPLC). It was verified that toxicity was clearly reflected in the first stages of leaf decomposition inE. globulus andA. melanoxylon, due to phytotoxic compounds liberated by their litter. At the end of half a year of decomposition, inhibition due to the vegetable material was not observed, but the soils associated with these two species appeared to be responsible for the toxic effects. On the other hand, the phenolic profiles are quite different among the four species, and greater complexity in the two toxic species (E. globulus andA. melanoxylon) was observed.