Casuarinaceae

Casuarinaceae

Casuarina, the long drooping branchlets are thought to resemble the feathers of the cassowary, from the Malay word casuari. Evergreen trees or shrubs with slender jointed branches. Leaves reduced to a whorl of teeth at each node. Flowers unisexual or functionally so, male flowers with 1 stamen; female flowers crowded, ovaries fused at maturity to form a cone. The number of leaf-teeth and the size and shape of the cone and the nature of the valves are useful diagnostic characters. Chief Australian genera are Allocasuarina and Casuarina.