Scientific Name:Casuarina equisetifolia   
Vernacular Name:Filaho, Filao., Umubunda.
Family name :Casuarinaceaae
Geographic Distribution:Cultivated in Rwanda

Botanical Description

Casuarina equisetifolia is a tall evergreen tree to 30 m, the branches  often drooping, sulcate , green, with 6-8 scalelike leaves. Internodes 5-7.5 mm long on the branchlets, only 2.5 mm on main shoots. Main shoots minutely hairy, with small recurved scales ca 2.5 mm long, usually 8 in a whorl. Male spikes usually numerous terminating the branches  on which the female “cones” are born lower down, cylindric to fusiform 12-24 mm long. Female cones subglobose to ellipsoid, 10-20 mm in diamwter. Seeds ca 660,000-990,000/kg.s

Medicinal Use

The root xtracts of the plant are used for dysentery, diarrhea, and stomach pain. The twigs decoction is used against swelling and the powdered bark against pimples.

Hill tribes of new Guinea use  the astringent  bark extract as a remedy for diarrhea and dysentery and to help relieve a sore throat.

The folk medicine reported to be astringent, diuretic, ecbolic, emmenagogue, laxative,and tonic, beefwood is a remedy for beriberi, colic, cough, diarrhea, dysentery, headache, nerves, pimples, sores, sorethroat, stomachache, swellings, and toothache.

Other Use

The tree  yields heavy heartwood that is resistant to pressure treatment and dry wood termites. It produces a very good firewood and charcoal. The wood can be used for fenceposts, poles, house post, rafters, beams, mine timber, roofing shingles, oars, tool hanles, wagon wheels. The bark can be utilized  for tannin and dye.


Other Plants