Something different: Allocasuarina crassa and monilifera

Casuarinas and Allocasuarinas can be a funny bunch, I love them dearly: trees, cultivars and dwarf species alike. I use the groundcover form of Casuarina glauca often and Casuarina ‘Green Wave’ is one of my all time favourite shrubs. But there are so many more once you begin exploring especially in the southern states and they seem to have much more interesting habits down there!

The images in this post are of two I found growing in a small botanic garden on the Tasmanian east coast dedicated to Tasmania’s indigenous species. The images above are of Allocasuarina crassa a horizontal spreading shrub with coarse branchlets and leaves.

Allocasuarina crassa enjoys part shade to full sun and will withstand strong winds and extended dry periods. It is described as “A flamboyant and striking small tree, with arching branches in all directions.” on the Plants of Tasmania website, with which I totally agree!
It is a tough shrub found in the coastal heathland of Tasmania and will range from a very low growing plant in wind-blasted heaths to a small tree in more protected areas. I have successfully grown it in coastal NSW in very dry soil in part shade.
A close relative is Allocasuarina monilifera it is the more delicate sibling of the two, it has much finer branchlets in a more blue grey colour.
This species also seems to have a very spreading wide habit but is a little denser in form, there were parts of this plant that were growing along the ground like a ground cover whilst other branches reached upto 1.5 metres.
Both these Allocasuarinas are spectacular feature shrubs even when not flowering their striking form would bring interesting structure to any garden bed.

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