Australian pine tree

(Casuarina equisetifolia)



Casuarina equisetifolia,or Australian pine tree,is a she-oak species of the genus Casuarina.The native range extends from Burma and Vietnam throughout Malaysia east to French Polynesia,New Caledonia,and Vanuatu,and south to Australia (north of Northern Territory,north and east Queensland,and north-eastern New South Wales). Populations are also found in Madagascar,but it is doubtful if this is within the native range of the species.The species has been introduced to the Southern United States and West Africa.It is an invasive species in Florida and South Africa.Casuarina equisetifolia is an evergreen tree growing to 6?35 m (20?115 ft) tall.The foliage consists of slender,much-branched green to grey-green twigs 0.5?1 mm (0.020?0.039 in) diameter,bearing minute scale-leaves in whorls of 6?8.The flowers are produced in small catkin-like inflorescences;the male flowers in simple spikes 0.7?4 cm (0.28?1.57 in) long,the female flowers on short peduncles.Unlike most other species of Casuarina (which are dioecious) it is monoecious,with male and female flowers produced on the same tree.The fruit is an oval woody structure 10?24 mm (0.39?0.94 in) long and 9?13 mm (0.35?0.51 in) in diameter,superficially resembling a conifer cone made up of numerous carpels each containing a single seed with a small wing 6?8 mm (0.24?0.31 in) long.Like some other species of the Genus Casuarina,Casuarina equisetifolia is an actinorhizal plant able to fix atmospheric nitrogen.In contrast to species of the Fabaceae family of plants (e.g.,beans,alfalfa,Acacia),Casuarina harbours a symbiosis with a Frankia actinomycete.

Taxonomic tree:

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
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