Gymnostoma nobile (Whitmore) L.A.S. Johnson

Etymology Genus From Malay Kesuari; referring to the resemblance of its twigs to the drooping feathers of the cassowary
Species Latin for noble, referring to its graceful form
Family Casuarinaceae
Synonyms Casuarina nobilis Whitmore
Common Names Bornean Rhu, Bornean Ru, Rhu Ronang
Status Exotic: Cultivated Only
Form Tree
Native Distribution Borneo, Philippines


Growing up to 40m, though seemingly shorter in cultivation, Gymnostoma nobile is a smaller cousin of Casuarina equisetifolia. It has a graceful spreading foliage, and has green-coloured twigs and highly reduced scale-like leaves.

Interesting Facts:

In its native origin, the Borneo Rhu is found in peat swamp forests, or on sandy or rocky soils (Slik, 2009). The timber is said to be used for construction and fuel. 

At Upper Seletar Reservoir, a individual is dubbed as an "Instagram Tree" because of its classic form together with the nice backdrop of the reservoir. This is a popular wedding location for couples.

An individual at Mandai Track 7 (2012).

The "Instagram Tree" at Upper Seletar Reservoir (2018).

Female flowers



Slik F (2009) Gymnostoma mobile. Plants of Southeast Asia. Accessed 20-Dec-2018.

Author: Jake
Posted: 2018-12-26 / Modified: 2019-08-27