Kenya Natural History Guide >>> Plants >>> Casuarinaceae >>> Casuarina equisetifolia

Australian Pine

Casuarina equisetifolia

She-oak, Casuarina equisetifolia, from coastal Kenya, photo © by Michael Plagens

Trees growing in a swampy areas of a revegetated limestone quarry near Mombasa, Kenya.

foliage is made up of many fine twigs, photo © Michael Plagens

LEAVES: The leaves are very small and appear scale-like. Six to eight scales appear at each node on long very slender twigs; the twigs are gray-green and very flexible. These fine, photosynthetic twigs give the pine-like appearance to this flowering plant.

TREE: Non-native tree that thrives in deep, sometimes salty saturated soils.

FLOWERS: The flowers are small and without showy petals. Many in compact, pendulous spikes appearing like catkins. The male and female flowers appear on separate spikes.

RANGE: This is an invasive, non-native tree. It is often planted for revegetation purposes and tolerates soils that are partly saline and sometimes water-logged. It is a plant of disturbed sites along the Indian Ocean coast.

FRUIT: The fruits are oval and woody, about 1 to 2 cm. in dia.


River She-oak, Casuarina equisetifolia, in Kenya, photo © Michael Plagens A similar species, River She-Oak, is common in the highlands areas of Kenya. Follow the thumb image link for more detail.

Casuarinaceae -- She-Oak Family

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Kenya Natural History

Copyright Michael J. Plagens, Created on 26 August 2012,
Updated 4 July 2013