Beefwood

Casuarina cunninghamiana
Beefwood: Casuarina cunninghamiana Beefwood: Casuarina cunninghamiana

Common name:

Beefwood

Scientific name:

Casuarina cunninghamiana (Casuarinaceae)

Alternative common names:

Kasuarisboom (Afrikaans)

A tall evergreen tree up to 40m high with arching, slender branches. Leaves have minute scales in whorls and are very much pine-like. The male flowers appear as yellowish spikes and female flowers in reddish heads from September to April and this tree produces small brown woody cones about 20mm long

Additional Info

  • Where does this species come from?

    Australia

    What is its invasive status in South Africa?

    Existing legislation: CARA 2002 – Category 2

    Where in South Africa is it a problem?

    Western Cape, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and Limpopo Provinces

    How does it spread?

    Spread by cones to the surrounding landscape

    Why is it a problem?

    This tree competes with and replaces indigenous species. Stands along watercourses could reduce stream flow

    What does it look like?

    General description: A large evergreen tree with needle-like leaves similar to pine trees growing to between 20-38m high. Leaves: Thin, needle-like leaves similar to that of pine trees and the scales have a transverse brown band. Flowers: Male and female flowers differ with male flowers consisting of a yellowish spike up to 20mm long and female flowers have globose reddish heads. Flowering occurs from September-April. Fruit/Seeds: Produces brown woody cones about 20mm long and the seeds are flattened in profile.

    Does the plant have any uses?

    Mostly used as a garden and landscaping tree and sometimes for dune stabilisation