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Casuarina equisetifolia, Casuarina muricata, Australian Pine, Ironwood, Horsetail, Iron Wood

Casuarina equisetifolia, Casuarina muricata

Australian Pine, Ironwood, Horsetail, Iron Wood
Family: Casuarinaceae
Origin: Malaysia, Southern Asia, Oceania and Australia
Big tree taller than 20 ftFull sunModerate waterFlood tolerantSeaside, salt tolerant plant

Casuarina equisetifolia is the most widespread and well-known member of the family Casuarinaceae. Salt tolerant. Australian pine is fast-growing (5-10 feet per year), produces dense shade and a thick blanket of leaves and hard, pointed fruits, that completely covers the ground beneath it. Dense thickets of Australian Pine displace native dune and beach vegetation, including mangroves and many other resident, beach-adapted species. Because its roots are capable of producing nitrogen through microbial associations, Australian Pine can colonize nutrient-poor soils. Once established, it radically alters the light, temperature, and soil chemistry regimes of beach habitats, as it outcompetes and displaces native plant species and destroys habitat for native insects and other wildlife. Chemicals in the leaves of Australian Pine may inhibit the growth of other plants underneath it.

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