Allocasuarina portuensis

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Nielsen Park She Oak
Allocasuarina - cultivated, Nielsen Park.JPG
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Fagales
Family: Casuarinaceae
Genus: Allocasuarina
Species: A. portuensis
Binomial name
Allocasuarina portuensis

Allocasuarina portuensis, commonly known as the Nielsen Park She-Oak, is an extremely rare plant growing in Sydney, Australia. Encountered as a shrub or small slender tree, up to 5 metres (16 feet) tall, it has green drooping branchlets up to 27 cm (10.5 in) in length.[1] It is dioecious, that is, male and female flowers are borne on separate plants.[2] Measuring 1.2–1.5 cm (0.47–0.59 in) long and 0.8–1 cm wide, the cones are perched on 0.2–1.5 cm long peduncles arising from the branchlets.[1]

The plant was discovered by Amanda Lee Johnson a NPWS Horticulturist whom worked at Sydney Harbour National Park. It was officially described by Lawrie Johnson in 1989.[3] The specific epithet portuensis is from the Latin, meaning “inhabiting a port”, as this species was originally found at Port Jackson.[4] It most resembles Allocasuarina rigida and A. distyla and can be distinguished by differences in the male flowers.[5] A. portuensis was originally identified in 1986 from ten specimens at Nielsen Park, in the city's eastern suburbs. Those original plants have now died. However, efforts to propagate and reintroduce the species began from the time it was identified, and plants were planted at several locations around Nielsen Park and nearby Gap Bluff and Hermit Point. 54 of these remained alive in 2000.[5]

The original habitat was forest over sandstone-based soils, with canopy trees such as Port Jackson fig (Ficus rubiginosa), smooth-barked apple (Angophora costata), blueberry ash (Elaeocarpus reticulatus) and cheese tree (Glochidion ferdinandi). The understory consists of Pittosporum revolutum, Kunzea ambigua and Monotoca elliptica.[2] The original range is unknown, as so much of the nearby bush has been cleared.[5]


  1. ^ a b "Allocasuarina portuensis". PlantNET - NSW Flora Online. Retrieved 8 March 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "Allocasuarina portuensis". Threatened Species of New South Wales. 
  3. ^ "Allocasuarina portuensis L.A.S.Johnson". Australian Plant Name Index (APNI), IBIS database. Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Australian Government. 
  4. ^ Les Robinson - Field Guide to the Native Plants of Sydney, ISBN 978-0-7318-1211-0 page 151
  5. ^ a b c Matthes, Maria; Nash, Sharon (2000). Allocasuarina portuensis Recovery Plan (PDF). NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service. ISBN 0-7313-6145-8. 
Nielsen Park, Sydney, Australia