Shade Metals

Species Specific Botanical Jewelry

conifer

Australian Pine (Casuarina equisetifolia)

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NATIVE RANGE: Southeast hemisphere

DESCRIPTION: Evergreen conifer, green-grey branches with minute scale leaves, both male and female flowers on the same tree.

Australian PIne, Casuarina equisetifolia ID 110414697 © Colin Young | Dreamstime.com.jpg

Australian PIne, Casuarina equisetifolia ID 110414697 © Colin Young | Dreamstime.com.jpg

Also called the Sea Pine, this drought-resistant conifer loves coastlines. Its native region extends from Australia up though Malaysia, the Pacific Islands, Burma & Vietnam. It has been naturalized on some islands off the coast of Africa like Madagascar and Mauritius. However, where it has been introduced in North and South America it can become an invasive species. It has harmed ecosystems in places like Florida, Texas, Brazil, and South Africa.

Australian Pine, Casuarina equisetifolia ID 93264912 © Jit Anong Sae Ung | Dreamstime.com.jpg

Australian Pine, Casuarina equisetifolia ID 93264912 © Jit Anong Sae Ung | Dreamstime.com.jpg

HEAVY INDUSTRY:
The leaves, bark, cones & seeds of this tree have proven to effectively remove harmful chemicals from the waste-water of textile dyes.

WEAPONS:
The almost 6-foot spear Kaumaile was cut from this tree nearly 900 years ago. Its original owner, the hero Tefolaha, fought with it in Samoa and Tonga until his death. Then it was passed down through 23 generations of his heirs.

Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum)

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NATIVE RANGE:

Southeast North America

DESCRIPTION:

Deciduous conifer, green needle leaves turn orange and fall off in winter,

bald-cypress-trees-ID 70379766 © Huayjean | Dreamstime.com.jpg

bald-cypress-trees-ID 70379766 © Huayjean | Dreamstime.com.jpg

bald-cypress-leaf-ID 129587434 © Diana Coman | Dreamstime.com copy.jpg

UNDERWATER FOREST:

This iconic tree of southern swamps has some amazing characteristics. It has aerial roots that stabilize it in shifting water and sand. These roots, called “knees,” reach above the water line and help it to breath in standing water where other trees would suffocate. The bald in bald cypress hints to the fact that its leaves turn orange and fall off before the winter. While it has the pine cones and needles of conifers, it is termed a false conifer because of its leaf loss.

What may be most exciting however is the fact that off the coast of Alabama a hurricane shifted the sands 100 feet down in the gulf of Mexico. This storm uncovered a forest of bald cypress that had been buried for thousands of years. Read more about the story here: An Underwater Forest