Plants of
South Australia
Allocasuarina mackliniana ssp. xerophila
Casuarinaceae
Dry Oak-bush
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
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Etymology

Allocasuarina from the Greek 'allos' meaning other or different, indicating the relationship with the genus Casuarina (first used by Rumphius (1743) in allusion to the supposed resemblance of the "foliage" of Casuarina equisetifolia to the plumage of the Cassowary, which is from the Malay 'kesuari', later being latinised as Casuarius). Mackliniana named after Miss Ellen Dulcie Macklin, an Adelaide botanist who published very useful pioneering work on Casuarina. Xerophila from the Greek 'xeros' meaning dry and 'philos' meaning loving, alluding to its rather dry habitats.

Distribution and status

Found in the South-east , growing in heath on sandy soils. Also found in Victoria. Native. Common in South Australia. Common in Victoria.
Herbarium region: South Eastern
NRM region: South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Dioecious or rarely monoecious shrub, 3 m high with smooth bark and ascending stems (look like leaves) to 20 cm long. Stem segment (article) to 13 mm long and 1.4 mm diameter; smooth, with furrows pubescent when young, becoming glabrous later and nearly flat to slightly rounded ridges; teeth (reduced leaves) 7–8 to 1.5 mm long, usually overlapping at least at bases. Male spikes very dense and thick, reddish-brown. Female flowers red, singular. Cones cylindrical, occasionally broader than long, sessile or on peduncle to 3 mm long with cone body to 22 mm long and 14 mm diameter. This subspecies differ from the other subspecies found in South Australia, A. mackliniana ssp. mackliniana which have glabrous furrows and the rounded ridge (phyllichnia). Allocasuarina mackliniana ssp. hirtilinea is restricted to the Grampians in Victoria. Allocasuarina mackliniana spp. xerophila is an intermediate between the other two subspecies and can intergrade at the edges of its range. Flowering between August and October. Fruits are grey-brown, woody cylindrical cone on short peduncle with numerous valves. Seed embryo type is investing.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between January and December. Cones can be collected anytime as mature cones remain on the female plant. Collect cones that have closed valves from the lower part of the stem as these are more mature. Place cones in a tray and leave to dry for 2-3 weeks. This will allow the valves to dry and open releasing the seeds. Place the dried cones in a bucket and shake gently to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate seeds from the unwanted material. Store the seeds with a desiccant such as dried silica beads or dry rice, in an air tight container in a cool and dry place. Seeds are non-dormant, viable seed should germinate readily.