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Casuarina cristata

Plant Family


Alternative Common Names

black oak, belar, scaly-barked casuarina, scrub she-oak, bulloak, swamp oak, billa, ngaree, grey buloke, bilaar.

Tree 6-18m high, with many slender branchlets. Is a common tree in this region. Dark grey bark, finely fissured in a rather regular pattern of squares.

Leaves - reduced to 9-12 small pointed scales sheathing the joints between the sections of the branchlets.

Flowers - unisexual, the males very small and in slender terminal spikes, the females clustered in heads.

Fruits - forming an oblong woody come about 20mm long.

Flowering usually summer – autumn, but also recorded July and November.

Indigenous uses - branches are straight and therefore easy to make into spears. The local Kamilaroi word for the tree is bilaar, also their name for spear.


Found as a dominant tree with brigalow, black gidyea, bimble box, Dawson River blackbutt, and the smaller trees such as wilga and false sandalwood in open forest over mainly Cenozoic clay plains. It is often seen in conjunction with brigalows and this combination is a sign of good fertile soils.

5, 6, 7, 8, 12, 20, 21

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