Alice Springs Desert Park

Alice Springs Desert ParkFauna Flora Nature Theatre Nocturnal House

One of the iconic trees in Central Australia are the Desert Oaks (Allocasuarina decaisneana).

The shape of the juvenile tree is different to that of the adult tree, growing thin and straight in shape, some people describing them as looking like feather dusters. As the juvenile tree grows, it sends down a strong tap root looking for the water table and a reliable water supply. When they reach sufficient water they grow taller, sending out side branches, transforming into an adult tree with a weeping shape and smooth foliage.

The tree does not have leaves as such, but long segmented branchlets, known as cladodes, resembling long pine needles. Each of the needles is composed of thin striped segments, leaf stalks and linked by a ring of projections, each of which is actually a tiny leaf.

A slow-growing medium-sized tree, the desert oak is found in the arid desert regions of Central Australia, encompassing parts of the Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia. Visitors driving to and from Uluru, Kings Canyon and Rainbow Valley, can see them growing naturally in the landscape.

Check out Flora Index on the Desert Oaks and read about the importance of desert oaks to the Aboriginal people.


  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Clade: Tracheophytes
  • Clade: Angiosperms
  • Clade: Eudicots
  • Clade: Rosids
  • Order: Fagales
  • Family: Casuarinaceae
  • Genus: Allocasuarina
  • Species: Allocasuarina decaisneana

ASDP FloraFlora Index Batswing Coral Tree Blue Mallee Bush Banana Buttercup Pigweed Dead Finish Desert Grevillea Desert Oak Desert Raisin Field Lily Georges Indigo Golden Everlasting Honey Grevillea Kangaroo Grass Lamarchea sulcata Myoporum acuminatum (Boobialla) Native Apricot Native Bluebell Native Cotton Bush Native Tomato Nicotiana megalosiphon subsp sessilifolia Olearia ferresii Parrot Pea Pink Everlasting Poached Egg Daisy Potato Vine Quandong Rattlepod Grevillea Red-bud Mallee Red Mulga Resurrection Fern Rough Halgania Sandover Lily Silkyheads Small Yellow Button (Chrysocephalum apiculatum) Spearwood Bush Sturt’s Desert Pea Waddy-wood Walukara Weeping Spinifex White Spider Flower Wild Passionfruit Wildflower Display

Alice Springs Desert ParkFauna Flora Nature Theatre Nocturnal House