Casuarina cunninghamiana (Casuarinaceae)

Common Name:


Scientific Name:

Casuarina cunninghamiana (Casuarinaceae)

Alternative common names:

Kasuarisboom (Afrikaans)


A tall evergreen tree up to 40m high with arching, slender branches. Leaves have minute scales in whorls and are very much pine-like. The male flowers appear as yellowish spikes and female flowers in reddish heads from September to April and this tree produces small brown woody cones about 20mm long

Additional Information

Where does this species come from?


What is its invasive status in South Africa?

Existing legislation: CARA 2002 - Category 2

Where in South Africa is it a problem?

Western Cape, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and Limpopo Provinces

How does it spread?

Spread by cones to the surrounding landscape

Why is it a problem?

This tree competes with and replaces indigenous species. Stands along watercourses could reduce stream flow

What does it look like?

General description: A large evergreen tree with needle-like leaves similar to pine trees growing to between 20-38m high.
Leaves: Thin, needle-like leaves similar to that of pine trees and the scales have a transverse brown band.
Flowers: Male and female flowers differ with male flowers consisting of a yellowish spike up to 20mm long and female flowers have globose reddish heads. Flowering occurs from September-April.
Fruit/Seeds: Produces brown woody cones about 20mm long and the seeds are flattened in profile.

Does the plant have any uses?

Mostly used as a garden and landscaping tree and sometimes for dune stabilisation

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