Casuarina equisetifolia Photo Fiona Sunquist ©
The Australian pine is a fast-growing invasive plant native to Australia and southern Asia. It is highly salt tolerant, and currently wide spread in southern Florida and on the Keys. This long-needled pine is an excellent invader, well adapted to rapidly colonizing large pieces of land. Once established the fallen needles release a chemical that sterilizes the soil, making it impossible for most other plants to grow at that site. The Australian pine also produces more shade than other Florida trees, creating a shady understory in which native plants struggle to survive.
This exotic species uses much more water than native species and can deplete an area’s water resources.
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