Casuarina cunninghamiana

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Casuarina cunninghamiana
Casuarina cunninghamiana tree.jpg
Casuarina cunninghamiana tree in flower.
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Fagales
Family: Casuarinaceae
Genus: Casuarina
C. cunninghamiana
Binomial name
Casuarina cunninghamiana
Casuarina cunninghamiana DistMap.png
Occurrence data from GBIF[

Casuarina cunninghamiana, commonly known as river oak or river she-oak,[3] is a she-oak species of the genus Casuarina. The native range in Australia extends from Daly River in the Northern Territory, north and east in Queensland and eastern New South Wales.[4][5]


Male flowers of a C. cunninghamiana subsp. cunninghamiana.
Immature seedpods in situ

The River Oak is an evergreen tree with fine greyish green needle-like foliage that grows to a height of 10–35 m (33–115 ft) with a spread of about 10 metres (33 ft).[4][6] The trunk is usually erect, with dense rough bark. Flowers are reddish-brown in the male and red in the female.[4] Cones are small, nearly round to elongated and about 10 millimetres (0.39 in) across.[4]


Trees are usually found in sunny locations along stream banks and swampy areas.[4] It's widely recognised as an important tree for stabilising riverbanks and for soil erosion prevention accepting wet and dry soils. The foliage is quite palatable to stock.[5] C. cunninghamiana is frost tolerant down to around −8 °C (18 °F) and is widely used effectively as a screening plant. It is useful on windy sites and is also suited to coastal areas. C. cunninghamiana has been introduced into several other countries for the purpose of agroforestry.[6]


There are two subspecies:

  • C. cunninghamiana subsp. cunninghamiana. Large tree to 35 m (115 ft) tall. Eastern New South Wales, north and east Queensland.[4][6]
  • C. cunninghamiana subsp. miodon. Small tree to 12 m (39 ft) tall. Daly River and Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory and the Gulf of Carpentaria in Queensland.[4][6]

The species has many common names including River Oak, River She-oak or Creek Oak.[5]

Invasive species[edit]

Casuarina cunninghamiana is an invasive species in the Everglades in Florida[7] and in South Africa.[8]


  1. ^ "Casuarina cunninghamiana". Australian Plant Name Index (APNI), IBIS database. Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Australian Government.
  2. ^ Miquel, F.A.W. (1848) Revisio critica Casuarinarum: 56, t. VI A
  3. ^ Casuarina cunninghamiana Miq.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Boxshall, Ben; Jenkyn, Tim. "River she-oak" (PDF). Department of Primary Industries. Victorian Government. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 September 2009. Retrieved 23 April 2011.
  5. ^ a b c Boland, D. J.; Brooker, M. I. H.; Chippendale, G. M.; McDonald, M. W. (2006). Forest trees of Australia (5th ed.). Collingwood, Vic.: CSIRO Publishing. p. 80. ISBN 0-643-06969-0.
  6. ^ a b c d "Casuarina cunninghamiana". Florabank. Retrieved 23 April 2011.
  7. ^ "Biological control of Australian native Casuarina species in the USA". Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation. 16 May 2007. Archived from the original on 5 June 2011. Retrieved 16 September 2010.
  8. ^ "SANBI:Declared Weeds & Invader Plants". South African National Biodiversity Institute. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 25 September 2014.

External links[edit]