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Casuarina equisetifolia
Casuarina equisetifolia
Botanical Name           : Casuarina equisetifolia
Common Nome           : Common Rhu, Horsetail Casuarina, Astralian Pine, She-Oak, Polynesian lronwood
Family                           : Casuarinaceae
Origin                            : Indian Ocean Islands, Indochina, Malesia, Northeast Australia and Pacific Islands
General Info
A hardy, fast-growing, sun- loving pioneer species .  Naturalised in many parts of the tropics . Tolerates salt and poor soils, found naturally along sandy coasts .
Botanical Features
Form: Tall tree, up to 30-40 m tall. Crown is distinctly conical in young trees, But becomes more irregular with maturity. Has delicate wispy appearance.
Leaf: True leaves reduced to tiny whorled scales, clustered around greyish-green needle-like twigs.
Flower: Tree is dioecious (male and female flowers found on separate plants). Inconspicuous, male flowers are slender cylindrical spikes produced at the ends of green twigs, while female flowers are tiny brownish heads on the swollen ends of brownish twigs.
Fruit: Small, flattened, winged nuts, contained in cone-like clusters that split open when ripe.
Trunk: Slightly buttressed. Bark is dark to greyish brown, ridged, fissured, flakes away in oblong pieces. Wood is extremely hard, strong and heavy.
Points of Interest
Although resembling a pine tree in appearance and sometimes called ‘Australian Pine’, Common Rhu is actually an angiosperm (flowering plant) and not related to the non-flowering pine family at all.
Related Species
Two recent introductions in Myanmar have been reclassified from the Casuarina to the Gymnostoma genus-the slow-growing Gymnostoma rumpbianum (syn. Casuarina rumpbiana, Weeping Rhu) and Gymnostoma nobile (syn.Casuarina nobilis, Bornean Rhu).
 
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