Casuarina cunninghamiana (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Casuarina cunninghamiana Miquel

Family: Casuarinaceae

Vernacular names

  • River she-oak, river oak, creek oak (En).


Native to northern and eastern Australia from southern New South Wales to northern Queensland, and cultivated in South America, tropical Africa and Thailand.


Planted in wind-breaks and shelter-belts, to stabilize river-banks, and as an ornamental. In Thailand grown for firewood in Imperata cylindrica (L.) Raeuschel grasslands. The fairly heavy wood is also used for fishing poles, tool handles, ornamental turnery, shingles and bullock yokes. The foliage yields an excellent mulch. Leaves suitable for fodder in times of drought, though not very nutritious. A very adaptable species with good prospects.


  • Dioecious, medium-sized to tall tree up to 35 m tall and 150 cm in diameter. Twigs needle-like, branchlets articulate, drooping in vigorous specimens, erect in depauperate ones.
  • Leaves reduced to 8-10, commonly 9 "teeth".
  • Male flowers in terminal spike, female flowers in small, reddish cone.
  • Fruit a compound cone-like structure, subglobose, 6-10 mm in length and width.

In its natural area of distribution, C. cunninghamiana occurs mainly along watercourses between normal and flood levels, from sea level up to 1000 m altitude.

Selected sources

  • Midgley, S.J., Turnbull, J.W. & Johnston, R.D. (Editors), 1983. Casuarina ecology, management and utilization. Proceedings of an international workshop, Canberra, Australia, 17-21 August, 1981. Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, Melbourne, Australia. 286 pp.
  • National Research Council, 1984. Casuarinas: nitrogen-fixing trees for adverse sites. Innovations in tropical reforestation. National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., United States. 118 pp.
  • Turnbull, J.W., 1986. Multipurpose Australian trees and shrubs. Lesser-known species for fuelwood and agroforestry. ACIAR Monograph No 1. Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, Canberra, Australia. 316 pp.
  • von Meyenfeldt, C.F.W.M., Noordam, D. & Savenije, H.J.F., 1978. Restoration of devastated inland forests in South Vietnam. Volume 3: List of tree species. Wageningen Agricultural University, Wageningen, the Netherlands. 219 pp.


  • M.S.M. Sosef & L.J.G. van der Maesen