Coastal Desert & Beach Plants - maui-mike


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At first glance, an Ironwood Tree (Casuarina equisetifolia) with its needle-like foliage and woody fruit looks much like a Pine tree (Pinus sp.). However, the deciduous tufts of jointed and grooved “needles” are not true leaves: they are actually small jointed branches or twigs that perform the same functions as leaves. Minute tooth-shaped structures protruding from around the tops of each needle’s “joints” are the true leaves.

Ho'okipa Beach, north Maui.

ironwoodCasuarina equisetifoliaCasuarinaceae