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Casuarina equisetifolia, photo courtesy of Joshua McCullough/PhytoPhoto
Casuarina equisetifolia, photo courtesy of Joshua McCullough/PhytoPhoto

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Zones 8, 9, 12-24, H1, H2
Full Sun
Regular WaterMinimal Water
Moderate, Minimal

Casuarina equisetifolia

Horsetail Tree
Evergreen, Trees


Native primarily to Australia; Casuarina equisetifolia is also a Pacific Island native. Long, thin, jointed, green branches look like long pine needles; true leaves are inconspicuous. Tolerate many tough conditions: dry or wet soil, salinity, heat, wind. Hardy to 15°F/–9°C. Particularly useful in desert areas, where they are often confused with Athel tamarisk (Tamarix aphylla) because of similar foliage—but the casuarinas have conelike fruit. Cones range from 1/4 to 1 in. long in species described here; those of Casuarina stricta are largest. Little pruning required.

Casuarina equisetifolia

Fast grower to 40–60 ft. tall, 20 ft. wide. Has pendulous gray-green branches.

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