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Australian Pine - Casuarina spp.
Family: Casaurinaceae

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Description

The Australian Pine, Sheoak or Ironwood tree is a large tree that has become invasive mainly along the beaches of Florida and along beaches and mountain ridges in Hawaii. While called Australian Pine, it is actually not a gymnosperm, but instead a flowering plant. What appears to be needle-like leaves is instead photosynthesiszing stems. Inbetween the stem nodes are very tiny whorls of small leaves. The 'cones' are the female fruiting structures that contain within them small winged seeds.

Interesting facts

The Australian Pine has roots that fix nitogen, allowing it to grow in areas of poor soil, such as on sandy beaches. It was introduced in the 1800s for this reason. However, its shallow roots are easily uprooted in hurricanes and thus can promote a great degree of beach erosion during these events.

Links to more information


VIDEO

Website, video, and graphics by Rob Nelson
For more information on this plant or management please contact US Army Corp of Engineers

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