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Casuarina equisetifolia

Family

Casuarinaceae

Botanical Name

Casuarina equisetifolia L.

Linnaeus, C. von (1759) Amoenitates Academicae: 143. Type: Rumphius, Herbarium Amboinensis #: t. 57 (1743).

Synonyms

Casuarina equisetifolia L. subsp. equisetifolia, Journal of the Adelaide Botanic Gardens 6(1): 79(1982), Type: ?. Casuarina equisetifolia L. var. equisetifolia, Flora Australiensis 6: 197(1873), Type: ?. Casuarina equisetifolia var. typica Domin, Bibliotheca Botanica 89(4): 555(1928), Type: ?. Casuarina equisetifolia subsp. incana (Benth.) L.A.S.Johnson, Journal of the Adelaide Botanic Gardens 6(1): 79(1982), Type: ?. Casuarina equisetifolia var. incana Benth., Flora Australiensis 6: 197(1873), Type: Port Macquarrie, A. Cunningham, Leichhardt; Moreton island, C. Moore. Casuarina equisetifolia var. incana J.Poiss., Nouvelles Archives du Museum d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris 10: 101(1874), Type: Forma in Australia orientali et Nova-Caledonia frequens ....

Common name

Horsetail Sheoak; Beach Sheoak; Beach Casuarina; Casuarina; Coast Sheoak; Sheoak; Sheoak, Beach; Coastal Sheoak

Stem

Oak grain not conspicuous in the wood.

Leaves

Apparent leaves are actually twigs and the true leaves (in whorls of 4-8) are just visible to the naked eye when the needles are broken at a joint. Oak grain in the twigs.

Flowers

Male flowers: Flowers consist of scale-like perianth segments and one stamen. Female flowers: Flowers lack a perianth and the fused carpels usually enclose only two ovules.

Fruit

Cones about 10-20 x 10-15 mm. Samaras pale brown, about 6-8 mm long. Bracteoles thin.

Seedlings

Cotyledons without visible venation. At the tenth leaf stage: leaves very small, in whorls of six, venation not visible.

Distribution and Ecology

Widespread in NT, CYP and NEQ close to sea level. Grows in beach forest or on the strand. Also occurs in SE Asia, Malesia and the Pacific islands.

Natural History

This plant was used in colonial medicine, astringent bark recommended for diarrhoea and dysentery. The leaves, bark and stem are regarded as a contraceptive. Cribb (1981).

NT

X

CYP

X

NEQ

X

Tree

X

RFK Code

472