Allocasuarina portuensis: Nielsen Park She-Oak

Allocasuarina portuensis in * Canberra, Australia Capital Territory, Australia * – April 2011

Allocasuarina portuensis

Common Names: The Nielsen Park She-Oak

Taxonomy: Kingdom: Plantae; Angiosperms; Eudicots; Rosids; Fagales; Casuarinaceae; Allocasuarina portuensis.

Location/Environment: Originally found at Nielsen Park in Sydney, Australia within a tree forest atop sandstone based soils though its original range is unknown as it has been cleared. Fossils found show evidence of its existence back to the time of Gondwana.

The species is considered endangered and extremely rare by the EPBC Act found in in Sydney, Australia. It appears as a dioecious small slender tree or shrub that can achieve a height upwards of sixteen feet tall (5 meters), with green drooping branchlets ranging upwards of eleven inches in length (27 cm) which produces 1.2-1.5 (l) x .8-1 (w) cm male and female flowers born on separate shrubs with .2-1.5 cm long peduncles arising from the branchlets as a perched cone. Originally described and defined in 1989 by Lawrie Johnson relating to “portuensis” from the Latin meaning for “inhabiting a port” for it was originally found in Port Jackson. By differences of its male flowers, it resembles the A. rigida and distyla first being found a separate species in Nielsen Park sometime in 1986. As a species of the Allocasuarina genus which is endemic to southern Australia. All members of this Genus are called “She-Oaks” as they are notable for their long segmented branchlets that function as leaves that resemble pine needles that are actually flowering vs. what it resembles. These form into “spiny cones” about the size of an acorn with a conifer cone-like texture that are woody fruits. The tree is much less bushfire tolerant than the eucalypts.

Cultivation: The tree is rare and endangered as its original plants have died, but propogation and reintroduction has been successful since its discovery.

Common Uses: Trees from this Genus are often used by wood turners for its hard wood and rich texture for woodworking. Also a excellent firewood as when it burns it has very little ash leftover. The trees from this Genus is also often used to stabilize soils in erosion prone areas and sand dunes as well as an ornamental shrub.

Culinary: Currently Unknown.

Medicinal: Currently Unknown.

Folklore and Magic: Currently Unknown.

Mythology: Currently Unknown.

NOTE: This article is in constant state of research, updating, and evolution. If you have information to add, please submit to

Photos from:

Australian National Botanical Gardens*
Canberra, Australia Capital Territory, Australia *

Bibliography and Recommended Reading:

  • Absolute Astronomy ~ Allocasuarina portuensis; by unknown author; notes taken from web site in 2011; Absolute Astronomy;
  • Australian Native Plants Society ~ Allocasuarina portuensis; by unknown author; notes taken from web site in 2011; ANPSA;
  • PlantNET: NSW Flora Online. “Allocasuarina portuensis”. Website referenced January 2012.
  • Robinson, Les. “Field Guide to the Native Plants of Sydney”.
  • Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust ~ Allocasuarina portuensis; by unknown author; notes taken from web site in 2011; RBGSYN:
  • Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia ~ Allocasuarina portuensis; by unknown author; notes taken from web site in 2011; wikipedia:

Photos are copyrighted and cannot be reproduced without permission of authors Tom Baurley or Leaf McGowan. Photos can be purchased via at Technogypsie Photography Services for nominal use fees. Articles and Research papers are done at the Author’s expense. If you donate below, you’ll help contribute to the costs of the research that provided this article. Any Reviews can request a re-review if they do not like the current review or would like to have a another review done. If you are a business, performer, musician, band, venue, or entity that would like to be reviewed, you can also request one (however, travel costs, cost of service (i.e. meal or event ticket) and lodging may be required if area is out of reviewer’s base location at time of request).

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