Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Allocasuarina torulosa (Aiton) L.A.S.Johnson

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Female flowers. © CSIRO
Male flowers. © CSIRO
Scale bar 1mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Johnson, L.A.S. (1982) Journal of the Adelaide Botanic Gardens 6(1): 79.

Common name

River Oak; Baker's Oak; Forest Oak; Forest Sheoak; Oak, Baker's; Oak, Forest; Rose Sheoak


Oak grain very conspicuous in the wood.


What appear to be needle-like leaves are really twigs and the true leaves (in whorls of four) are just visible to the naked eye when the needles are broken at a joint. Oak grain in the twigs.


Male flowers: Flowers consist of scale-like perianth segments and one stamen. Female flowers: Flowers lack a perianth and the fused carpels usually enclose only two ovules.


Cones about 20-30 x 15-20 mm. Samaras dark brown, shiny, about 7-10 mm long. Bracteoles thick and convex.


Cotyledons without visible veins, much larger than the leaves. First group of leaves whorled. At the tenth leaf stage: leaves minute, without visible venation, in whorls of four. Seed germination time 8 to 15 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to Australia, occurs in an isolated pocket in CYP, widespread in NEQ, CEQ and southwards as far as south-eastern New South Wales. Altitudinal range in CYP and NEQ from 40-1200 m. Usually grows in wet sclerophyll forest but also found on the margins of rain forest.

Natural History & Notes

A very useful firewood. Easy to cut and split when green, drying rapidly and burning well, producing plenty of heat.

This species produces a timber which was formerly used as roof shingles. Swain (1928).

Casuarina lugubris Salisb., Prodromus stirpium in Horto ad Chapel Allerton vigentium : 2(1796). Casuarina torulosa Aiton f. torulosa, Plantae Preissianae 1(4): 640(1845). Casuarina tortuosa A.Henry, Novorum Actorum Academiae Caesareae Leopoldino-Carolinae Naturae Curiosorum 22 : 217(1847), Type: (not cited). Casuarina torulosa Aiton, Hortus Kewensis 3: 320(1789), Type: Nat of New South Wales. Sir Joseph Banks, Bart. Casuarina tenuissima Spreng., Systema Vegetabilium 3: 804(1826), Type: Nov. Holl.
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