Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. See beefwood.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of several trees, of the genus Casuarina, that have segmented stems; especially the ironwood and beefwood

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A genus of leafless trees or shrubs, with drooping branchlets of a rushlike appearance, mostly natives of Australia. Some of them are large, producing hard and heavy timber of excellent quality, called beefwood from its color.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A genus of peculiar plants, of Australia and adjacent islands, nearly related to the birches and oaks, and constituting the natural order Casuarinaceæ.
  • n. [lowercase] A plant of this genus.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. any of various trees and shrubs of the genus Casuarina having jointed stems and whorls of scalelike leaves; some yield heavy hardwood

Etymologies

New Latin Casuarīna, genus name, from Malay kesuari, cassowary (from the resemblance of its twigs to the drooping feathers of the cassowary).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Malay kasuari ("cassowary"), from the resemblance of the leaves to the bird's feathers. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • A tree Sir Joseph Banks had classified as casuarina was found to yield very good shingle timber, but was located some distance away around the stream swamp, and excellent brick clay was discovered a mile inland.

    Morgan’s Run

  • I will say little of the fine and abundant timber furnished by what is called the casuarina tree, and by what the English improperly call the pear.

    The Life of Captain Matthew Flinders

  • Aldabran drongo Dicrurus aldabranus (approximately 1,500 individuals) is also an endemic species which inhabits scrub, mangrove and casuarina areas.

    Aldabra Atoll, Seychelles

  • Unclipping the first sheet and working with the next layer, Wolseley approached the carbon ruins of some casuarina scrub and bashed the paper against the clusters of burnt seeds.

    Wildwood

  • The tropical moist forests of Palau can be divided into 8 main types: upland forest (found only on the high volcanic islands), swamp forest, mangrove forest, atoll forest, casuarina forest, limestone forest (with a subtype in the Rock Islands), plantation forest, and palm forest.

    Palau tropical moist forests

  • Province Wellesley, under a row of magnificent casuarina trees, with gray, feathery foliage drooping over a beach of corals and, behind which are the solemn glades of cocoa-nut groves.

    The Golden Chersonese and the way thither

  • At 6 A.M., in the glory of the tropic sunrise, Mr. Maxwell and I landed in Province Wellesley, under the magnificent casuarina trees which droop in mournful grace over the sandy shore.

    The Golden Chersonese and the way thither

  • We saw beaches rush by, and trees laden with coconuts, the big uncombed mane of the casuarina tree.

    The Book of Chameleons

  • As I grope through the casuarina grove, sketching leaves in my notebook and contemplating the romantic desolation of a Krakatau fig tree, Bas with his keen ornithological attunement begins to identify birds.

    The Song of The Dodo

  • To this end a dozen were housed in a capacious tin half filled with damp sand, well supplied with casuarina needles strewn on the surface, and enclosed with wire gauze.

    Last Leaves from Dunk Island

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Comments

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  • Southwards from about Orlando, introduced Casuarina trees have displaced native trees in many places along disturbed seasides and canals. They're a nuisance, and they speak with a funny accent too.

    September 26, 2011

  • Oh, funny. I was playing with the random word feature and went straight from Tewkesbury to casuarina--which, admittedly, didn't strike me as funny until I read the name of the author in knitandpurl's citation.

    September 26, 2011

  • "As for my mother, no inoculation could have saved her. So I left her there, under the casuarinas."
    The Last Rendezvous by Anne Plantagenet, translated by Willard Wood, p 94

    June 8, 2010

  • There's a nearby suburb called Casuarina. Which predictably is an ugly mess of shopping centres and car parks. But there are a few Casuarina trees planted on a kind of traffic island; I can think of no real reason for them being there other than that someone in the planning office has a very literal sense of humour. But it kind of works. I've been there a few times with visitors and you can see them turning over the word in their head until eventually they ask, 'What does Casuarina mean?' Which is about the point we get to pass the trees. *points*

    April 17, 2009

  • Much appreciated, c_b. :-)

    Sionnach: *guffaw*

    April 17, 2009

  • Ocarina, ocarina, ocarina
    I made it out of casuarina...

    April 16, 2009

  • "On this day, the 23rd September 1931, he added the final card to his hand and climbed a giant eucalypt and carried down a yellow-tailed black cockatoo. Expressed thus, it sounds easy. But this is not your sulphur-crested cockatoo, often caught, usually caged, taught to speak Pet's Lingo. This is the giant cockatoo sometimes called funereal, and if you have ever watched these monsters ripping branches to pieces, seen them screeching at the top of river casuarinas, or seen, at close range, their odd faces (more like a devil's koala than a bird) then you would know, without being told, this is not an easy bird to catch or tame."
    —Peter Carey, Illywhacker, 304

    (I included more text than I normally would in case reesetee wanted to read about the birds. For more on this cockatoo, see hakea.)

    April 16, 2009