Florida painter, Everglades, Marco Island, artist Jo-Ann Sanborn


Invasion, painting by Everglades artist JoAnn Sanborn

Invasion, Jo-Ann Sanborn
Acrylic on Canvas, 24"x48"

The Australian Pines, or casuarina, are not pine trees at all. Their airy branches form interesting shapes against the morning sky, and their graceful limbs sway gently in a light breeze.
They are not native to Florida. Once widely planted as a hedge against erosion, they are now maligned and outlawed because of their adapibility and invasive habits, taking over where native plants should flourish. The Plant Conservation Alliance calls this plant an alien invader!

In this painting I've tried to show their beauty, but given them threatening feeling as well as they loom over the native species along the shore.


helen said...

So how did Australian Pines get to Florida....when were they planted as a hedge against erosion,I wonder. They do look a bit ominous.

Jo-Ann Sanborn said...

The Australian Pines were originally imported for use in beach erosion control, but their shallow root system proved them inappropriate since they went down with heavy storms. Then it was discovered that not much of Florida wildlife could live within the "dead zone" the trees created. Now they are considered a threat and are being removed.

Still, they can be lovely in a gentle breeze!

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