Casuarina equisetifolia

Its name “Casauarina equisetifolia” was given it by the botanist Linneaus in 1759, referring to the cassowary (Casuarinus) because its drooping habit and the appearance of the foliage makes one think of the plumage of the bird.


In countries where the she-oak grows extensively, it can be the cause of allergies (asthma) at flowering time.

Species characteristics

Family: Casuarinaceae

Origin: Australia, Southern India, Indonesia, Easter Island, Malaysia, Madagascar and Tahiti

Habitat: Areas with a hot dry climate

Characteristics: Tree with a slender weeping growth. Evergreen, rough, green to silver-grey foliage. From a distance, this tree can be confused with a pine. Fast growing specimen, up to 25 to 30 metres high.

Flowering period: Spring, summer.

Uses and properties: Its dense, tight wood, called “ironwood” is highly sought-after as timber for shipbuilding and furniture making. Its root system contains nitrogen fixing bacteria.

History and oddities

It was first planted in Corsica in the middle of the 19th century. It can live for 100 years or more.