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Allocasuarina defungens

Posted: September 20th, 2020, 7:45 pm
by Rory
I just picked up 2 Allocasuarina defungens. Wow. Very short internodes and short needle length, similar to Allocasuarina nana but not quite as short internodes as A. nana

It appears more compact with bushier pads than A. nana

Very excited for this one. The nurseryperson didn't recognize it but thinks they may be able to order in more.
Its supposed to only achieve a height of 2m
The trunks are already fairly thick for such young material.

Newcastle Wildflower Nursery.
260 Lake Rd, Glendale NSW 2285
(02) 4954 5584

They have 1 left at the nursery for sale that I left for some lucky enthusiast like yourself.
It is considered endangered and efforts are underway to preserve it. By all means I would suggest contacting the nursery and ordering more to try for yourself. It is a casuarina so it should be fairly easy for those of us in NSW. It naturally occurs towards the upper areas of the coast of NSW.

It has fissured bark at the base at a young age, not like A. nana which for me has not shown any sign of fissured bark after many years.

I'll repot and get them into orchid pots in a few months and hopefully see some future potential in these.
But I'll take the cautious approach and simply separate the roots on the first go, then nibble away over time.

Re: Allocasuarina defungens

Posted: September 20th, 2020, 8:40 pm
by Redsonic
Sounds interesting, Rory. Looking forward to seeing how they go.

Re: Allocasuarina defungens

Posted: September 21st, 2020, 11:33 am
by Rory
Here is a pic of that short casy foliage....
casy.jpg

Re: Allocasuarina defungens

Posted: September 21st, 2020, 1:04 pm
by jehsiboi
That is really dense busy foliage. I might look into this species.

Re: Allocasuarina defungens

Posted: September 23rd, 2020, 3:34 pm
by Grant Bowie
Very similar to a species many years ago that was introduced as Casuarina equesitifolia. Allegedly imported from a dwarf sport from a Casuarina in Hawaii Hawaii where many Casuarina were imported from Australia or Indonesia to act as salt tolerant windbreaks for their pineapple plantations.

If it is the same plant it can be a bugger to keep alive without any damage. It can die back at the drop of a branch and is water/drying out sensitive. I am still persevering with the one I have but it died back and resprouted massively a few years ago and has literally thousands of new shoots all over.

good luck and hope its good for you. If hardy should make great Bonsai.

Grant

Re: Allocasuarina defungens

Posted: September 23rd, 2020, 9:37 pm
by Rory
Grant Bowie wrote: September 23rd, 2020, 3:34 pm Very similar to a species many years ago that was introduced as Casuarina equesitifolia. Allegedly imported from a dwarf sport from a Casuarina in Hawaii Hawaii where many Casuarina were imported from Australia or Indonesia to act as salt tolerant windbreaks for their pineapple plantations.

If it is the same plant it can be a bugger to keep alive without any damage. It can die back at the drop of a branch and is water/drying out sensitive. I am still persevering with the one I have but it died back and resprouted massively a few years ago and has literally thousands of new shoots all over.

good luck and hope its good for you. If hardy should make great Bonsai.

Grant
Yes I know the one you are referring to. I had quite a few of them too. I lost them all though.... probably dried out. Mine were badly root bound, as I acquired them from Ray Nesci a long time ago, and I don't think the watering was penetrating the root ball. I never got a chance to repot them either.

The foliage is different on these though. And on these, the bark is much more like an Allocasuarina fissured bark.
On the ones sold as C. equisitifolia the needles were much more rigid and erect, and slightly stronger. On defungens, they are much more graceful, and soft.

The one you have has incredibly short needles. By memory, the needles were even shorter than this A. defungens. But the more badly a casuarina is root bound, the shorter the needles become. I once had a few A. torulosas that were so root bound they never produced needles much longer than about 6 cm
But they weren't in great health, and obviously I do not recommend this for needle reduction. I actually attest and subscribe to your previous advice on all bonsai, which was to maintain a bushy and very healthy bonsai, then reduce the tree at each reduction, rather than starving and forcing the tree into an unhealthy dwarfism.