Plants of
South Australia
Allocasuarina verticillata
Casuarinaceae
Drooping She-oak
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 8.

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). Verticillata from the Latin 'verticillatus' meaning whorl, referring to the leaves arranged in whorls, or seemingly so.

Distribution and status

Found in the southern part of South Australia from the Gammon Ranges to the lower South-east, growing in a wide range of habitats. Also found in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other States.
Herbarium regions: Flinders Ranges, Eastern, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Dioecious tree to 9 m tall with drooping branches on the male tree. Female trees are erect and bear cones.

Articles (stem segment) terete, slightly rough, striate to 4 cm long and 1.5 mm diameter, with 9-12 spreading teeth (reduced leaves) at the end. Male and female flowers on different plants. Male spikes to 12 cm long, thick, 3 or 4 whorls per cm. Female flower yellow to 2.5 mm long. Flowers throughout the year. Fruits are large woody cylindrical cone with numerous valves. Seeds are dark brown, smooth and semi-flat seeds to 10 mm long, with a papery wing at one end. 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. From one collection, the seed viability was low, at 30%. Seeds are non-dormant, viable seed should germinate readily.

Seeds stored:
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LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
BGA 
MSB
8,194 (33.6 g)
8,194 (33.6 g)
147-Oct-2003PJA33
Murray
1-Sep-200430%-18°C
Location: BGA — the seeds are stored at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens, MSB — the seeds are stored at the Millennium Seed Bank, Kew, England.
Number of plants: This is the number of plants from which the seeds were collected.
Collection location: The Herbarium of South Australia's region name.
% Viability: Percentage of filled healthy seeds determined by a cut test or x-ray.
Germination table:
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