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Casuarina glauca - Sieber. ex Spreng.

Common Name Swamp Oak, Gray sheoak
Family Casuarinaceae
USDA hardiness 8-11
Known Hazards There is a report that the pollen might be allergenic[269].
Habitats Usually found in swampy localities[156]. Near salt water estuaries, along sluggish creeks and occasionally on rising ground[265].
Range Australia - New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria.
Edibility Rating    (1 of 5)
Other Uses    (3 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Half Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Casuarina glauca Swamp Oak, Gray sheoak

Casuarina glauca Swamp Oak, Gray sheoak


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of cone
Casuarina glauca is an evergreen Tree growing to 18 m (59ft 1in).
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 9. It is in leaf all year. The species is monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant).
It can fix Nitrogen.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid and saline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Plant Habitats

Woodland Garden Canopy; Secondary; South Wall. By. West Wall. By.

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves
Edible Uses:

The needles are chewed to relieve thirst[177]. We assume that this means the leaves[K].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

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None known

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Shelterbelt  Wood

The plant suckers freely and forms a good windbreak[167]. It has been used to reclaim land, especially eroded mountainsides, and to provide shelterbelts[269]. The plant can spread very freely by means of suckers and has become a noxious weed in some areas - its planting is banned in some parts of Florida[269]. Ditches are sometimes dug on either side of the shelterbelt planting in order to control its spread[269]. Wood - tough. Used for axe handles etc, it is said to be better than hickory (Carya spp) for this purpose[156]. The brownish timber is nicely marked and is used for fencing rails, shingles, salt water pilings, poles, charcoal and fuel[269]. Casuarina spp. have very dense wood, with a specific gravity of 0.8 - 1.2, and a calorific value of ca 5,000 kcal/kg[269]. The wood splits easily, and burns slowly with little smoke or ash[269]. It also can be burned when green, an important advantage in fuel short areas[269]. From their fourth year, trees shed about 4 tons cones/year. These, too, make good pellet-sized fuel (NAS, 1983e)[269]. Wood uses: Charcoal, Exterior fittings, Fences, Flooring, For light construction, Industrial and domestic woodware, Particleboard, Piles, Posts, Roundwood, Sawn or hewn building timbers, Tool handles, Turnery, Wood-based materials, Woodware [1d].

Special Uses

Food Forest  Nitrogen Fixer

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Requires a well-drained moisture-retentive soil in full sun[200]. Succeeds in most soils in Australian gardens, including saline ones, and is tolerant of salt spray[157, 167, 269]. Plants are reported to tolerate high pH, limestone soils, low pH, salt and sand dunes, water-logging, weeds, and wind[269]. Reported to tolerate an annual precipitation in the range of 50 to 400cm, estimated annual temperature range of 18 to 28°C, and a pH of 5 to 8[269]. Plants have grown in Israel under a soil crust of salt (50,000 ppm)[269]. Rarely tolerates temperatures lower than -3°C[269]. Tolerates temperatures down to at least -7°c in Australian gardens[157], and plants are said to tolerate frost in South Africa[269], although this cannot be translated directly to British gardens due to our cooler summers and longer, colder and wetter winters. It might succeed outdoors in the mildest areas of the country. Spreading by means of root suckers, this species has become a pest in some parts of Florida[269]. Closely related to C. cunninghamiana, though somewhat less hardy[269], it often hybridises in the wild with that species[265]. In fine-textured clays, even in waterlogged soils, C. glauca can develop a deep root system, while C. cunninghamiana and C. equisetifolia develop shallow roots and grow poorly[269]. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil micro-organisms, these form nodules on the roots of the plants and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[157]. Although Nitrogen nodulation is most successful at pH 6 to 8, some natural stands are well nodulated in acid soils (pH ca 4)[269]. In garden design, as well as the above-ground architecture of a plant, root structure considerations help in choosing plants that work together for their optimal soil requirements including nutrients and water. The root pattern is suckering with new plants from underground runners away from the plant [2-1].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Plant Propagation

Seed - sow late winter to early summer in a greenhouse and only just cover the seed[138]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. There are between 700,000 - 970,000 seeds per kilo[269]. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame[157, 200].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

scaly oak (Australia). English: black casuarina (Australia); black she-oak (Australia); Brazilian oak (Australia); gray she-oak (Australia); grey buloke; grey she-oak (Australia); longleaf casuarina; scaly bark beefwood (Australia); suckering Australian pine; suckering casuarina (Australia); swamp oak (Australia); swamp she-oak (Australia). Spanish: casuarina; pino de Australia. French: pin d'Australie. Bahamas: suckerling Australian pine. Malaysia: ru paya.

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Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Asia, Africa, Central America and the Caribbean, South America, Europe (Cyprus, Portugal), Oceania. Australia, Norfolk Island, Haiti, USA.

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

This plant can be weedy or invasive. Considered this to be a highly invasive tree species. It is now a category 1 pest plant species in Florida, USA. a category 1 invasive plant species in the Bahamas. Considered it to be the most invasive of the Casuarinas on the Hawaiian islands [1d].

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed.

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Allocasuarina littoralisBlack She Oak, Bull Oak, WayetuckTree8.0 9-11 FLMHNM104
Casuarina cristataBelahTree12.0 8-11 FLMHNDM003
Casuarina cunninghamianaRiver She-OakTree18.0 8-11  LMHNDM005
Casuarina equisetifoliaShe Oak, Common Ru, Australian Pine, Horsetail CasuarinaTree30.0 9-12 FLMHSNDM125
Casuarina littoralisShe Oak, Black she-oakTree8.0 8-11  LMHNDM003
Casuarina oligodonShe-oak, kiluTree25.0 10-12 MLMHNM004
Casuarina torulosaForest OakTree15.0 8-11  LMHNDM003
Casuarina verticillataDrooping she-oakTree10.0 8-11  LMHNDM003

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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Sieber. ex Spreng.

Botanical References


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