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Allocasuarina luehmannii (Family Casuarinaceae)

Buloke, Bull Oak, Bulloak, Bull Sheoak

Distribution:

The main distribution is forms a belt 60-150 km wide extending from south-eastern South Australia through Victoria and New South Wales into southern Queensland. The species is rarely found near the coast. Its main latitudinal range is 26-38o S but it extends as far north as 16o S. It has an altitudinal range from near sea level to 800 m. (QLD, NSW, VIC, SA)

Features:

A medium sized tree up to 15 m high with a straight trunk, typically 30-70 cm in diameter. The bark is dark and furrowed. The branchlets are ascending (they turn upwards during growth), up to 40 cm long and divided into segments 8-22 cm long and 1-2 mm diameter with whorls of 10-14 tiny leaf teeth. Male and female flowers occur separately on different plants. Male flowers form in spikes up to 4.5 cm long , in September and October. The cones are short (5-12 mm long), cylindrical and broader than long, hairy when young and supported on a very short stalk. The winged seed is about 5 mm long and red-brown in colour. There are about 160 000 viable seeds per kilogram and the seeds germinate readily without pre-treatment. . Like other casuarinas, this species harbours actinomycete bacteria (Frankia) which form nodules on its roots and fix nitrogen from the atmosphere.

Ecology/Way of Life:

This casuarina occurs mainly in the warm sub-humid zone with limited extension into the warm semi-arid zone. Heavy frosts occur and average 4-18 per year. Mean annual rainfall is 425-650 mm with a slight winter maximum in the south and a well-developed summer maximum in the north. It occurs primarily on gentle to moderate slopes on sandy soils and light loams, but it does grow on a wide range of soils. It is an important component of the understorey of woodlands dominated by eucalypts. Eucalypts such as Eucalyptus crebra, E. melanophloia, E. populanea and E. molluccana are characteristic of such woodlands. Other dominant trees are species of Callitris, Brachychiton and Angophora.

Preferred Image

Interaction with Humans/Threats:

The heartwood is red, coarse grained, very heavy, hard and of moderate durability. It has been used for roof shingles, flooring, turnery and fencing and makes excellent firewood. Its foliage provides poor quality stock fodder. This tree is suitable for amenity planting and can provide somewhat open shelterbelt protection. It has not been cultivated extensively due to unavailability of seed. It has the ability to produce root suckers and this suggests a potential for weediness in some conditions.

Other Comments:

Allocasuarina leuhmannii was originally named in 1900 as Casuarina leuhmannii by Richard Baker, economic botanist at the Sydney Technological Museum. It was placed in the genus Allocasuarina in 1982 by L.A.S. Johnson. The genus name comes from Greek allos = other and the Malay kasuari = cassowary, referring to the resemblance of the foliage to this bird's plumage; and the species name honours J.G. Leuhmann (1843-1904), one-time Victorian Government Botanist and Curator of the Melbourne Herbarium.

Further Reading:

Anderson, E. 1993. Plants of central Queensland - their identification and uses. Queensland Government printer, Brisbane. 272p.

Anderson, R.H. 1968. The trees of New South Wales. 4th ed. Government Printer, Sydney.

Doran, J.C. and Turnbull, J.W. (eds.) 1997. Australian trees and shrubs; species for land rehabilitation and farm planting in the tropics. ACIAR Monograph no. 24. Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, Canberra. 384p.

Topics:

Timber Invasive species/Weeds Fodder Soils Nitrogen-fixation Climatic zones Vegetation types Firewood

Acknowledgments:

Text & map from Australian Trees and Shrubs, courtesy Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research; text edited by J. Turnbull; photo courtesy David Kleinig

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Sponsored by:

David Kleinig/ACIAR


Images and Multi-media:  
Attached Image  
image/jpeg 37739 bytes Allocasuarina luehmannii

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