Allocasuarina_distyla.jpg (78882 bytes)Allocasuarina distyla: is a member of the Casuarinaceae family. All members of the family have the common name Sheoak.

Allocasuarina distyla is a slender shrub that will reach a height of four metres. The branchlets are grey-green and the extremely reduced leaves are in the form of 6-8 teeth around the stem. The stems and their reduced leaves are known as cladodes.

Allocasuarina distyla in common with most family members is dioecious (male and female flowers on different plants).

The male flowers are individually insignificant and are carried in spikes on the ends of branches. When mature the spikes turn brown before pollen is released. The pollen is very light and is carried by the wind.

Female cones are about 35 millimetres long and carry large numbers of black, winged seeds known as samara. The cones have a distinctive peak. As shown in the photo, pollination is extremely efficient in this species.

Allocasuarina distyla is found in all coastal areas of New South Wales as well as the Central and Southern Tablelands. The specimen photographed was growing in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney.

Propagate from seed. When cones are picked they release seeds in about 14 days.