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Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V4 #46


The tree that people in the USA and at least in Cuba, where I come from, refer to as Australian Pine is not a true pine; it belongs to the genus Cassuarina, I believe of the species equisetifolia. It has needle-like leaves that might make you think of a real pine. Nonetheless upon close examination you find out that the needles are not continuous and smooth as in a real pine, but made up of numerous short segments that can be separated easily if you pull from the tips of the needle. 

The tree also produces a cone-like structure that resembles a small pineapple without the crown, about 2cm tall x 1.5cm wide. It grows fine in sandy areas, on beaches, but I have seen it growing almost anywhere. It was introduced in Cuba several decades ago, and planted along the beaches there, but after several years it was discovered that the big amount of needles shed over the years was transforming the beach sand into a rich soil, so it was eliminated from the beaches. 

I think this tree is called Coast Sea Oak in Australia.

Alex duBouchet
Washington, DC

Date: Sat, 22 Jan 2000 11:17:52 +1100
>From: "Neil Travis" <travisn at gravity_net.au>
>Subject: Australian Pine?????
>Hi Group,
>it intrigues me to read varying articles on the use of Australian Pine.
>I can assure you that Australia does not have any native pine trees at all
>so what is the wood referred to as Australian Pine?
>Is it Mallee root? or Tea-Tree or just pieces off some other Eucalypt?
>It really annoys me to see things incorrectly named.
>>From the" Land Down Under"
>icq 13931687