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Karlku - Swamp Oak

Karlku - Swamp Oak

Common name: Swamp Oak

Paakantyi name: Karlku

Scientific name: Casuarina pauper

The wood was used for spears and the roots possibly for water (Magarey 1895). The wood of the stem was used for boomerangs, shields, throwing sticks and liangles; they young stems and cones were chewed to relieve thirst. The cones were cooked then eaten, or powdered with unknown tree species for sores and rheumatism. The bark was also used for various ailments.

Description: The tree grows to about 15 m high, with slender branchlets about 1-2 mm thick, striated, jointed. Bark is dark grey, finely fissured in a regular pattern of squares. Casuarina trees have needle-like soft stems with the leaves reduced to 9-12 small pointed scales at intervals along the stems. Fruits form an oblong woody cone about 20 mm long, with several rows of prominent protruding valves. Flowering usually occurs during summer-autumn.

Habitat: Usually found on sandy rises with Callitris species. Occurs on sandplains, floodplains and foothills. May be found as individuals or in dense strands.

Distribution: Widespread in the western half of NSW.