Casuarina equisetifolia L.
common ironwood
Casuarinaceae

This rapidly growing tree can reach heights of 40 m or more. It forms monotypic stands under which little else grows. The lack of undergrowth beneath trees suggests the release of an allelopathic agent, although Neal (1965) suggested that they exhaust the nutrients in the soil. The seeds are wind-dispersed. The lack of undergrowth prevents very hot fires from burning in the vicinity of these trees. When fires do sweep through stands, trees regenerate rapidly from basal shoots. The species has not been evaluated for biological control because it is still considered a beneficial tree for windbreaks, erosion control, and nitrogen fixation.

It is common in all but the driest and wettest coastal areas of all islands up to 500 m.


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