Encyclopedia of Stanford Trees, Shrubs, and Vines
In its natural habitat it grows in river beds and on their banks. In New South Wales, its principal native habitat, where it grows to 100 feet high and 4 feet in diameter, river she-oak is a protected species on account of growing on and stabilizing river banks. Nine specimens of casuarina can be seen growing in harsh conditions on the south side of Roth Way; even so, two have reached 60 feet in height. Another group of nine, males and females, is on Lasuen Street midway between Campus Drive East and Arboretum Road and there are a dozen nearby on the closed road that bisects the intersection of Lasuen Street and Campus Drive. There are also a dozen on the south side of Campus Drive West between Lomita Drive and Old Anatomy, seemingly the remnant of a double row. The casuarina is a battler, it has survival value in neglected areas, and it is easy on the eye.
The name Casuarina was given by Linnaeus in 1759 because of resemblance to the plumage of the cassowary, a 5-foot high, shy flightless bird native to New Guinea, northeast Australia, and some adjacent islands. The species name refers to Alan Cunningham, a colorful botanical explorer of the early 1800s, who is memorialized by an obelisk in the Royal Botanical Gardens, Sydney.
Field Guide to Identify the Common Casuarina (Australian Pine) Species in Florida by William S. Castle offers excellent field identification advice.
Illustrations (links open new windows): Silhouettes from Trees of Stanford & its EnvironsAdditions/Revisions:
Name derivation, genus | speciesRelated material: Canopy Trees for Palo Alto Tree Library; Stanford Grounds Plant Information Sheet. List No.5, p.5
name index | Common name index | Family