Allocasuarina grampiana is known as the Grampian’s Sheoak and is a tall shrub or small tree with distinctive blue-grey foliage this is due to a waxy bloom.
In common with many Sheoaks this species is dioecious (male and female flowers are carried on separate plants). Male flowers are carried on the ends of branches in long spikes. When mature, pollen is released and carried by the wind. Female flowers are red with numerous styles giving them a sea-urchin appearance (see thumbnail image). Pollinated flowers develop into cones up to 35 millimetres long. Each cone contains numerous black, winged seeds or samaras.
Allocasuarina grampiana is confined to the Grampian National Park in central Victoria. The species is classified as rare and threatened although protected in a reserve. Frequent bushfires could pose a threat to the species.
The Grampian’s Sheoak has great horticultural potential. The foliage colour is similar to that of the Blue Spruce. Allocasuarina grampiana could be grown as a substitute for this expensive and slow growing exotic.
Propagate from seed and possibly cuttings.
The type specimen was collected in the Grampians in 1969 and formally described in 1989.
The main image is of a specimen growing in Canberra’s National Botanic Gardens and the thumbnail is from a plant in our garden.