Our plant of the month is Allocasuarina littoralis (Black she-oak), a shrub that may reach 10 metres and prefers well-drained soil. Male and female flowers form on separate trees. Bees like the pollen and it will tolerate some salt spray. Image Tony Rodd (bie.ala.org.au)
Cooloola City Farm, opposite the Community Centre, on Tin Can Bay Road, is open to the public for plant sales on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 8am-3pm, 07 54862304, email@example.com, www.cooloolacityfarm.org
Free local plants are available on your latest rates notice, so come in to see our range. We are here for help and advice and welcome any requests for assistance with native plant choices and issues.
The topic this month is casuarinas or she-oaks. These plants range from ground covers to large trees and they have adapted to many environments. Their ‘leaves’ are actually branchlets and because of their shape, lose only a little moisture which helps them survive in drought conditions.
As well, when these branchlets fall they create mulch under the tree that is a further aid to water retention. Another environmental benefit is that she-oak roots take nitrogen from the air and deposit it in the soil.
A number of different birds enjoy she-oaks – black cockatoos like the cones, while the seed is the attraction for finches and lorikeets, and other species such as magpie larks and butcher birds nest there.