Casuarina equisetifolia, Australian Pine

Gardens & Landscapes, Invasive Species, Extension Master Gardener January 28, 2013 Print Friendly and PDF

Invasive Species: Casuarina equisetifolia, Australian Pine

Australian pine is an invasive deciduous tree that occurs in open coastal habitats including sand beaches, rocky coasts, and sand dunes. Trees can grow to over 100 ft. (30.5 m) in height. The reddish-brown to gray bark is brittle and peels. Branchlets resemble pine needles and are very thin, 4 to 8 in. (10 to 20 cm) long and gray-green. Male and female flowers are present on the same plant and are inconspicuous. Male flowers occur in terminal spikes, while the female flowers are in small axillary clusters. Fruit are tiny winged nutlets that each contain one seed. The fruits are contained in woody, cone-like structures that are 3/4 in. (2 cm) long. Australian pine is native to Australia and Southeast Asia and was introduced into Florida in the late 1800s.

What are invasive species and why should we be concerned about them? 


Taxonomy: Scientific and Common Names for This Species

Casuarinales > Casuarinaceae > Casuarina equisetifolia L.

Synonym(s): beach sheoak, common ironwood Casuarina equisetifolia - USDA PLANTS Profile

Distribution Maps

Australian pine - The reported distribution of this invasive species across the United States. (Source: Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States)

Up-to-the-minute distribution maps and why they are important

Reporting This Invasive Species

What is the best way and place to report the occurrence of an invasive species? 

How to report an invasive species sighting to EDDMapS - Early Detection & Distribution Mapping System

EDDMapS - Report an invasive species to EDDMapS

Cooperative Extension Offices - Find your local Cooperative Extension office on this map provided by USDA

How to Identify

This invasive species can be identified by looking for the characteristics described in the paragraphs that follow.

Tree

An invasive deciduous tree that occurs in open coastal habitats including sand beaches, rocky coasts, and sand dunes. Trees can grow to over 100 ft. (30.5 m) in height. The reddish-brown to gray bark is brittle and peels.

Forest & Kim Starr, Starr Environmental,bugwood.org Forest & Kim Starr, Starr Environmental,bugwood.org

Foliage

Branchlets resemble pine needles and are very thin, 4 to 8 in. (10 to 20 cm) long and gray-green.

Amy Ferriter, State of Idaho, bugwood.org Amy Ferriter, State of Idaho, bugwood.org

Flower

Male and female flowers are present on the same plant and are inconspicuous. Male flowers occur in terminal spikes, while the female flowers are in small axillary clusters.

Amy Ferriter, State of Idaho, bugwood.org John M. Randall, The Nature Conservancy, bugwood.org

Fruit

Fruit are tiny winged nutlets that each contain one seed. The fruits are contained in woody, cone-like structures that are 3/4 in. (2 cm) long.

 
Forest & Kim Starr, Starr Environmental,bugwood.org Dan Clark, USDI National Park Service, bugwood.org

Native Species That Resemble Australian Pine

 

- Images at invasive.org

   
bugwood.org bugwood.org

 

- Images at invasive.org

   
bugwood.org bugwood.org

 

Additional Images for Australian Pine

Australian pine - Images at Invasive.org

 

Learning Resources for Australian Pine

 

Additional Information, Biology, Control and Management Resources

Control and management recommendations vary according to individual circumstances. Location, habitat, weather, and a variety of other conditions are factors that help determine the best treatment choice. To find the safest and most effective treatment for your situation, consult your state's land-grant institution. If you will use chemicals as part of the control process, always refer to the product label.

United States Land-Grant University System - Find your land-grant university's College of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service, or other related partner on this map provided by USDA.

Weeds Gone Wild: Alien Plant Invaders of Natural Areas - Plant Conservation Alliance

Element Stewardship Abstract - The Nature Conservancy

Identification and Biology of Non-Native Plants in Florida's Natural Areas - University of Florida

Global Invasive Species Database - Invasive Species Specialist Group

Casuarina equisetifolia - Indian River Lagoon Species Inventory

Invasive.org - Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health


 

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.