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Araucaria araucana ( Monkey Puzzle Tree)

Araucaria araucana ( Monkey Puzzle Tree)


Araucaria araucana, commonly called the monkey puzzle tree, monkey tail tree, piñonero, pewen or Chilean pine, is an evergreen tree growing to a trunk diameter of 1–1.5 m and a height of 30–40 m . It is native to central and southern Chile and western Argentina. It is the hardiest species in the conifer genus Araucaria. Because of the prevalence of similar species in ancient prehistory, it is sometimes called a living fossil. It is also the national tree of Chile. Its conservation status was changed to Endangered by the IUCN in 2013 due to the dwindling population caused by logging, forest fires, and grazing.

The leaves are thick, tough, and scale-like, triangular, 3–4 cm long, 1–3 cm broad at the base, and with sharp edges and tips. According to Lusk, the leaves have an average lifespan of 24 years and so cover most of the tree except for the older branches.

It is usually dioecious, with the male and female cones on separate trees, though occasional individuals bear cones of both sexes.

The tree’s native habitat is the lower slopes of the Chilean and Argentine south-central Andes, typically above 1,000 m. Juvenile trees exhibit a broadly pyramidal or conical habit which naturally develops into the distinctive umbrella form of mature specimens as the tree ages. It prefers well-drained, slightly acidic, volcanic soil, but will tolerate almost any soil type provided it drains well.

Supplied as small, 10 to 20cm plant in 9 cm pot

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