Casuarina equisetifolia CASUARINACEAE 

Local name: Rhu or Aru hence the name Tanjung Aru, a famous beach at Kota Kinabalu in  Sabah which is backed by a grove of these trees.

As first pointed out by the famous botanist E J H Corner, the tiny seeds of Casuarina equisetifolia will only germinate in full sun so Casuarinas are the first colonizers of  newly formed sandy beaches  an indication of an accreting (expanding) coastline in the past. For the same reason Casuarina equisetifolia frequently colonizes newly re-claimed coastal land around Borneo

Nut photos by María Fernanda González Giraldo. 


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Casuarina equisetifolia is dioecious with separate male and female trees. The photo above shows a flowering twig  with the male catkins covered in pollen of a male tree.
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This newly reclaimed coastal land next to the Empire Resort in Brunei has been colonized by a dense stand of Casuarina equisetifolia.
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Young Casuarinas growing at the Empire Resort Brunei. The lower branches have been pruned off.


Tanjung Aru Beach, Kota Kinabalu is named after the many Casuarinas that grow behind the beach providing shade for visitors.