Casuarina equisetifolia, the Australian pine tree or whistling pine tree, is a she-oak species of the genus Casuarina. Casuarina is an evergreen tree. The foliage consists of slender, much-branched green to grey-green twigs, bearing minute scale-leaves. The flowers are produced in small catkin-like inflorescences, the male flowers in simple spikes, the female flowers on short peduncles. Unlike most other species of Casuarina, it is monoecious, with male and female flowers produced on the same tree. The fruit is an oval woody structure, superficially resembling a conifer cone made up of numerous carpels each containing a single seed with a small wing.
Planting & Caring –
The species is said to exhaust soil moisture and lower the water table and is tolerant to salt water. It suppresses undergrowth and dry needles on the ground may become a fire hazard. Soils are invariably well-drained and rather coarse-textured mainly sands and sandy loams. The species is tolerant of both calcareous and slightly alkaline soils but is intolerant of prolonged waterlogging and may fail on poor sands where the subsoil moisture conditions are unsatisfactory. It can do well in agro-ecological zones 1-IV but is limited to the coast.