Characteristics of Whistling Pine Tree (Casuarina equisetifolia) in the Wild

Casuarina equisetifolia
Whistling Pine or Coast Sheoak is a tree species from the genus Casuarina, thought to have originated throughout Southeast Asia, Northern Australia, and the Pacific Islands. Its population is also found in Madagascar, but it is doubtful whether it is native to the region or not.

Whistling Pine has been introduced to the Southern United States and West Africa, where it spreads and becomes an invasive species in Florida, South Africa, India, and Brazil.

When it grows, this tree is called by various local names such as Cemara Udang and Cemara Laut (Indonesia), Agoho Pine (Philippines), Whistling Pine, Brown Pine, Coast Sheoak, and Australian Pine (International).

This tree is widely used as a bonsai subject, especially in Southeast Asia and the Caribbean. The native Indonesian species cultivated in Taiwan are considered to be the best in the bonsai world.

Whistling Pinewood is often used to make shingles, hedges, and is said to be excellent firewood. Among the Hawaiian islands, Casuarina is also planted to prevent erosion and generally functions as a windbreaking element.

 

Characteristics of Whistling Pine Leaf

Casuarina equisetifolia Leaf
Source : flickr.com/Forest and Kim Starr

The leaves are long and thin like needles, are green to gray-green, and have 6-8 leaf rings.

 

Characteristics of Whistling Pine Flower

Casuarina equisetifolia Flower
Source : flickr.com/Lauren Gutierrez

The flowers are small, male flowers are simple spikes 0.7-4 cm long, and short female flowers appear on the stalk.

 

Characteristics of Whistling Pine Fruit

Casuarina equisetifolia Fruit
Source : flickr.com/Oriolus84

The fruit is oval 10-25 mm long and 10-13 mm in diameter, generally resembling a coniferous cone consisting of many carpels each containing one-winged seed.

 

Characteristics of Whistling Pine Tree

Casuarina equisetifolia Tree
Source : flickr.com/Forest and Kim Starr

Whistling Pine can grow 30-35 meters tall in the wild. Like several other species of the genus Casuarina, Whistling Pine is also an actinorhizal tree that can fix nitrogen in the atmosphere which makes it an important tree for creating clean air.

This tree is also often planted as an ornamental tree in parks, schoolyards, offices, and roadsides.

 

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