(Last Updated on : 04/07/2013)
The 'Casuarina Tree' is such a tree that has a general appearance of a coniferous tree. The scientific name of this tree is 'Casuarina Equisetifolia' and the very term 'Equisetifolia' suggests that the bunches of the leaves are like a horse's mane or tail. The name of its family is 'Casuaranaceae'. In Hindi language
, it is called as 'Jungli Saru' or 'Vilayati Saw' or 'Jungli Jhao'. The Bengali people know it as 'Belati Jhao'. In Tamil language, its name is 'Chouk Sabuku' and in Telugu language
, it's 'Serva'.
The 'Casuarina Tree' is a nice tree that has small cones and big, straight stem. This tree is a quick-growing one and lives for quite a long period. This is a hardy tree and the sandy-soil of the sea-coast areas is most suitable for the tree. It has been cultivated all through the South India to retrieve the sandy seashore. In the North Kannad and particularly along the Coromandel Coast
, it grows extensively for fuel. It can make a good, solid hedge if you plant it closely and keep it low. People in the coastal districts and inland regions often use this tree as a roadside or garden tree as it is an enormously decorative and useful tree. In fact gardeners cultivate it as a hot-house plant to meet the decorative purposes only.
The sound of the leaves of the tree is a soothing and restful one. The trunk of the tree is strong and it is branched and clothed with uneven bark. The bark cracks and comes away in long strips. The wavy and downy foliage contains a lot of slender, baggy, jointed branch lets. This branch lets arise from rough, woody branches and they are green in colour. They fulfill the functions of leaves and are partly deciduous. They fall down all through the year and form a soft carpet underneath the tree. Some authorities claim that one 'Casuarina' tree will bear flowers of one sex only and if anyone finds both male and female flowers on one tree then it will be an exceptional thing. However, other authorities state that it is usually two-sexed and the one-sexed tree is the exception.
Flowers of Casuarina Tree
The flowers appear twice a year in the periods of February to April, and again after six months. They are generally unisexual. The male flowers are cylindrical mortal spikes and the female flowers have dense heads that lie in the axils of the branch lets. You can usually see these heads in groups. They are like small buds that are covered with twisted and dark red fur. The "bud" enlarges and become a cone-shaped tool and the red hairs fall down. The cones are round or oblong and about 2.5 am across. They are also consisting of several pointed sections that do not overlap as in a fir cone.
Uses of Casuarina Tree
The wood of the 'Casuarina Tree' is solid and as the grain is uncertain, the Indian carpenters are almost unable to work with this. It also breaks and splits very easily and for this reason, it is more suitable for beams or posts than floorboard. However, it does not last long underground. The tree is mainly used as fuel and to do so, people cut it when it is 10 to 12 years old. However, if the tree is left until 20, then it could be more useful. The bark of the tree is normally used for tanning and dyeing fishermen's nets. It can be used as a tonic and in the treatment of stomach complaints as well.