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Zones 8, 9, 12-24, H1, H2
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Full
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Moderate, Minimal

Casuarina

Beefwood, She-oak
Casuarinaceae
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 cunninghamiana

Largest species. To 70 ft. tall, 30 ft.wide. Finest texture, with dark green branches.

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

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Casuarina equisetifolia

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

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