Casuarine

CasuarineCasuarine — Casuarina is a genus of 17 species in the family Casuarinaceae, native to Australasia, southeastern Asia, and islands of the western Pacific Ocean. It was once treated as the sole genus in the family, but has been split into three genera.

They are evergreen shrubs and trees growing to 35 m tall. The foliage consists of slender, much-branched green to grey-green twigs bearing minute scale-leaves in whorls of 5–20. The flowers are produced in small catkin-like inflorescences; the male flowers in simple spikes, the female flowers on short peduncles. Most species are dioecious, but a few are monoecious. The fruit is a woody, oval structure superficially resembling a conifer cone made up of numerous carpels each containing a single seed with a small wing.

Casuarina species are a food source of the larvae of hepialid moths; members of the genus Aenetus, including A. lewinii and A. splendens, burrow horizontally into the trunk then vertically down. Endoclita malabaricus also feeds on Casuarina. The noctuid Turnip Moth is also recorded feeding on Casuarina.

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