Ajuntament de Barcelona

Casuarina cunninghamiana

Miramar Garden and Camí dels Cims

    Catalan name: 
    Pi d'Austràlia
    Spanish name: 
    Pino australiano
    English name: 
    Beefwood
    Species characteristics
    Family: 
    Casuarinaceae
    Origin: 
    New South Wales and Queensland (Australia)
    Habitat: 
    Sunny and humid areas (rivers, seasonal and fast-flowing streams and swamps)
    Characteristics: 

    Perennial tree 20-35 m tall, with usually straight trunk, 1.5 m in diameter, and crown, about 6 m in diameter. The dense flaky bark is rough and greyish brown.

    The leaves, with a needle shape, appear grouped into thin soft bunches of 8-10 leaves.

    The masculine flowers and the feminine ones appear in different trees. The reddish coffee masculine ones bloom on spikes at the tip of young shoots and are arranged in whorls (groups of spikes that sprout at a stem's same level, making a circle around it). The red feminine ones are small and oval.

    The woody cones, 4-6 mm in diameter and 7-14 mm long, contain many quadrangular fruits with a single seed. The fruits, 3-4 mm long, are light grey.

    Flowering time: 
    Middle spring
    Fruiting time: 
    Summer
    Uses and properties: 

    Beefwood is used to settle soil, mainly in coastal zones and seashores, and as a wind screen in windy areas. It has been introduced to many countries because of its capacity to prevent soil erosion work both for dry and humid soils. Its leaves are used to feed cattle.

    It's very well known in Spain as a garden tree.

    History and curiosities: 

    The scientific name, Casuarina cunninghamiana, consists of the genus name Casuarina, coming from Malay word kasuari or kesuari, "cassowary", alluding the resemblance of the cassowary plumage and the tree top, and the term cunninghamiana, "of Cunningham", in honour of the English botanist Allan Cunningham (1791-1839), given by the Dutch botanist Friedrich Miquel (1811-1871) in 1848 when he described the tree.

    For further information: 

    LÓPEZ GONZÁLEZ, Ginés A. Los árboles y arbustos de la Península Ibérica e Islas Baleares. (2 vol.) Madrid: Mundi-Prensa, 2001