coastal sheoak

Casuarina equisetifolia

Guardian: Jak King

The name equisetifolia comes from Latin meaning ‘horse hair’

It is an important species because it is a tree that can grow on sand. It can do this because it grows a special compartment inside it cells (like a laboratory) where a bacteria transforms the air into nutrients. Most other plants cannot break the bond between the nitrogen atoms in the air and would starve in nutrient poor sand but in time the sheoaks add organic matter to the soil, changing it so that other trees can grow.

If you grind the bark it is good for toothaches and if you are walking around the island without water the green cones will reduce thirst.

It has both male and female flowers

The seeds are found in the small cones and have wings.

The fallen leaves are thought to prevent other native plants from growing in Florida.