Horsetail tree

Horsetail tree

Casuarina equisetifolia (Casuarinaceae)

Common Name:

Horsetail tree

Scientific Name:

Casuarina equisetifolia (Casuarinaceae)

Alternative common names:

Perdestertboom (Afrikaans)


A tall evergreen tree growing up to 20-40m high with arching, slender branches. The leaves have minute scales and occur in whorls. The scales are uniformly pale with sharp ribs. This tree produces male flowers as yellowish spikes and female flowers as reddish heads from September to April, as well as small brown woody cones and winged seeds with a flattened profile

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?


How does it spread?

Dispersal of seeds

Why is it a problem?

Competes with and replaces indigenous species on coastal areas and sandy sea-shores

What does it look like?

General description: A tall evergreen tree reaching heights of 40m with pine-like leaves.
Leaves: Needle-like leaves with minute scales in whorls and with uniform pale scales.
Flowers: Male flowers in yellowish spikes; female flowers in reddish, globose heads.
Fruit/Seeds: Produces small brown woody cones and winged flattened seeds.

Does the plant have any uses?

Planted as a garden and landscaping ornamental and sometimes for dune stabilisation

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