Casuarina: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Casuarina equisetifolia
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Fagales
Family: Casuarinaceae
Genus: Casuarina

See text

Casuarina is a genus of 17 species in the family Casuarinaceae, native to Australasia, southeastern Asia, and islands of the western Pacific Ocean. It was once treated as the sole genus in the family, but has been split into three genera (see Casuarinaceae).[1][2]

Fruit of C. equisetifolia

They are evergreen shrubs and trees growing to 35 m tall. The foliage consists of slender, much-branched green to grey-green twigs bearing minute scale-leaves in whorls of 5–20. The flowers are produced in small catkin-like inflorescences; the male flowers in simple spikes, the female flowers on short peduncles. Most species are dioecious, but a few are monoecious. The fruit is a woody, oval structure superficially resembling a conifer cone made up of numerous carpels each containing a single seed with a small wing.[1][3] The generic name is derived from the Malay word for the cassowary, kasuari, alluding to the similarities between the bird's feathers and the plant's foliage.[4]

Casuarina species are a food source of the larvae of hepialid moths; members of the genus Aenetus, including A. lewinii and A. splendens, burrow horizontally into the trunk then vertically down. Endoclita malabaricus also feeds on Casuarina. The noctuid Turnip Moth is also recorded feeding on Casuarina.

Casuarictin, a type of tannin, is found in the species within the genus[5].


Selected species

  • Casuarina cristata Miq. (Northeastern Australia: Queensland, New South Wales).
  • Casuarina cunninghamiana Miq. – River Sheoak (Northern and eastern Australia: Northern Territories to New South Wales)
  • Casuarina equisetifolia L. – Australian Pine, Beach Sheoak, Common Ironwood (Northern Australia, southeastern Asia, doubtfully native to Madagascar)
  • Casuarina glauca Sieber ex Spreng. Gray Sheoak, Longleaf Ironwood, Saltmarsh Ironwood, Swamp Oak (New South Wales)
  • Casuarina grandis L.A.S.Johnson (New Guinea)
  • Casuarina junghuhniana Miq. (Indonesia)
  • Casuarina obesa Miq. (Southern Australia: southwestern Western Australia, New South Wales [one site, now extinct], Victoria)
  • Casuarina oligodon L.A.S.Johnson (New Guinea)
  • Casuarina pauper F.Muell. ex L.A.S.Johnson (Interior Australia)



Commonly known as the she-oak, sheoak, ironwood, or beefwood, casuarinas are commonly grown in tropical and subtropical areas throughout the world. The tree has delicate, slender ultimate branches and leaves that are no more than scales, making the tree look more like a wispy conifer. The plants are very tolerant of windswept locations, and are widely planted as windbreaks, although usually not in agricultural situations.

C. equisetifolia is a common tropical seashore tree known as Common Ironwood, Beefwood, Bull-oak, or Whistling-pine and is often planted as a windbreak. The wood of this tree is used for shingles, fencing, and is said to make excellent, hot burning firewood.

C. oligodon has been planted in New Guinea in an ancient (more than 3,000 years) silviculture by highland gardeners practicing an intensive traditional permaculture. The wood of this tree is used for building-timber, furniture and tools and makes excellent firewood. The tree's root nodules are known to fix nitrogen, and it is traditionally prized for its ability to increase the soil's fertility. Its abundant leaf-fall is high in nitrogen and traditionally prized for mulch.

The resin exuded from some casuarinas is edible and was a food source for Aboriginal people.


As invasive plants

C. cunninghamiana and C. equisetifolia have become naturalized in several countries, including Argentina, China, Egypt, Israel, Iraq, Mauritius, Kenya, Mexico, South Africa, the Bahamas[8] and the southern United States; in the United States it was introduced in the early 1900s, and is now considered an invasive species.[9][10] The species has nearly quadrupled in southern Florida between 1993 and 2005, where it is known as Australian pine.[11]

C. equisetifolia is widespread in the Hawaiian Islands where it grows both on the seashore in dry, salty, calcareous soils and up in the mountains in high rainfall areas on volcanic soils. It is also an introduced, invasive plant in Bermuda. It was introduced to replace the Juniperus bermudiana windbreaks killed by juniper blight in the 1940s. Now they are growing on cliffs and sandy slopes strangling all surrounding plants, or covering them in needles, they also erode the cliffs by digging their roots deep into them and splitting them apart. The plants are strongly suspected of having allelopathic properties, as evidenced by the near absence of understory once a mat of litter develops around the plants.


  1. ^ a b c Flora of Australia: Casuarina
  2. ^ a b Australian Plant Names Index: Casuarina
  3. ^ Huxley, A., ed (1992). New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. Macmillan Publishers. ISBN 0-333-47494-5. 
  4. ^ Quattrocchi, Umberto (2000). CRC World Dictionary of Plant Names. I A-C. CRC Press. p. 456. ISBN 9780849326752. 
  5. ^ Tannins of Casuarina and Stachyurus species. I: Structures of pendunculagin, casuarictin, strictinin, casuarinin, casuariin, and stachyurin. Okuda T., Yoshida T., Ashida M. and Yazaki K., Journal of the Chemical Society, 1983, no8, pp. 1765-1772
  6. ^ Germplasm Resources Information Network: Casuarina
  7. ^ "Casuarina Rumph. ex L.". ITIS Standard Reports. Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 2010-02-21. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ USFS FEIS: Casuarina
  10. ^ USDA Forest service: Casuarina
  11. ^ IFAS: SRFer Mapserver


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

CASUARINA, a genus of trees containing about 30 species, chiefly Australian, but a few Indo-Malayan. The long whip-like green branches are longitudinally grooved, and bear at the nodes whorls of small scale-leaves, the shoots resembling those of Equisetum (horse-tail). The flowers are unisexual; the staminate are borne in spikes, each flower consisting of a central stamen which is surrounded by two scale-like perianth-leaves. The pistillate are borne in dense spherical heads; each flower stands in the axil of a bract and consists of two united carpels flanked by a pair of bracteoles; the long styles hang out beyond the bracts, and the one-chambered ovary contains two ovules. In the fruit the bracteoles form two woody valves between which is a nut; the aggregate of fruits resemble small cones. Pollen is transferred by the wind to the long styles. The pollentube does not penetrate the ovule through the micropyle but enters at the opposite end - the chalaza. This anomaly was discovered by Dr M. Treub (see Annal. Jardin Botan.Buitenzorg, x. 1891), and is associated with a peculiar development of the ovule, and an increased number and peculiar form of the embryosacs (nacrospores). Treub proposed to separate Casuarina as a distinct group of Angiosperms, and suggested the following arrangement: - Angiospermae Porogamae Monocotyledons. Chalazogamae (Casuarina). The names of the two subdivisions recall the manner of entrance of the pollen-tube. More recent investigations, chiefly by Nawaschin and Miss Benson, on members of the orders Betulacea.e, Fagaceae, Juglans and Ulmus, showed a recurrence in a greater or less degree of the various anomalies previously observed in Casuarina, and suggest that the affinity of Casuarina is with these orders of Dicotyledons.

The wood is very hard, and several species are valuable timber trees. From a fancied resemblance of the wood to that of the oak these trees are known as "oaks," and the same species has different names in different parts such as "she-oak," "swampoak," "shingle-oak," "river-oak," "iron-wood," "beef-wood," &c. See J. H. Maiden, Useful Native Plants of Australia (London and Sydney, 1889).

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Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies


Classification System: APG II (down to family level)

Main Page
Cladus: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiospermae
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: core eudicots
Cladus: Rosids
Cladus: Eurosids I
Ordo: Fagales
Familia: Casuarinaceae
Genus: Casuarina
Species: C. cristata - C. cunninghamiana - C. equisetifolia - C. glauca - C. junghuhniana - C. obesa - C. striata - C. stricta


Casuarina L.

Vernacular names

Русский: Казуарина


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