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biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Family: Casuarinaceae (sheoaks, Horsetail tree)

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Eudicotyledons > Core Eudicots > Rosids > Eurosid I > Order: Fagales

Four genera and 70 species, native to Malaysia, Australia and Polynesia with the distribution of the coastal species Casuarina equisetifolia extending to Madagascar and the east coast of tropical Africa. One genus and two species are naturalised in southern Africa and an additional genus and eight species are cultivated in the region.

Genera naturalised in southern Africa

List from Plants of Southern Africa - an Online Checklist (SANBI).


Seventeen species (Australasia, southeastern Asia, Pacific islands), of which two are naturalised in southern Africa, and an additional three species are cultivated in the region. The two naturalised species are Casuarina cunninghamiana (Beefwood, Kasuarisboom) and Casuarina equisetifolia (Horsetail tree, Perdestertboom) and are declared Category 2 invader plants in South Africa.

Other genera, cultivated in southern Africa

List from Glen (2002).


Sixty species (endemic to Australia) of which five are cultivated in southern Africa.




  • Glen, H.F. 2002. Cultivated Plants of Southern Africa. Jacana, Johannesburg.