Casuarina equisetifolia L.

Common names

Australian Pine, Coast She-oak, Horsetail Tree

Article sources

New Trees

Large, erect tree to 35 m. Bark scaly, greyish brown to black. Branchlets lax and drooping, up to 30 cm long, articles 0.5–1.3 cm long, furrows densely pubescent; phyllichnia angular or rarely flat, glabrous. Leaves tooth-like; teeth (six to) seven to eight, erect or rarely spreading, 0.03–0.08 cm long. Monoecious; staminate inflorescences spicate, 0.7–4 cm long with 7–12 whorls per centimetre; pistillate inflorescences on lateral branchlets, 0.3–1.3 cm long; cone 1–2.4 × 0.9–1.3 cm, bracteoles acute. Flowers inconspicuous. Fruit a samara, 0.6–0.8 cm long and dull. Wilson & Johnson 1989. Distribution AUSTRALIA: northeast New South Wales, Queensland; FIJI; FRENCH POLYNESIA; INDIA; INDONESIA; MALAYSIA; MYANMAR; NEW CALEDONIA; PAPUA NEW GUINEA; PHILIPPINES; THAILAND; VANUATU; VIETNAM. Casuarina equisetifolia is widely introduced and has become an invasive species in many countries. Its natural range is uncertain. Habitat Sandy coasts near sea-level. USDA Hardiness Zone 9–10. Conservation status Not evaluated. Illustration Wilmot-Dear 2000. Cross-reference K293.

Casuarina equisetifolia is one of the most widely distributed strand plants of the Indian and Pacific Oceans, and will be familiar to anyone who has travelled in those regions. Its dark green tresses are now being exposed to Cornish conditions, with some success, and a thriving plant has also been reported from Surrey (T. & M. Milton, pers. comm. 2007).

Genus

Casuarina

Other species in the genus