Monkey Puzzle Tree

Araucaria araucana

Chile Pine, Monkey Tail Tree, Araucaria, Monkey Puzzle

profile iconAraucaria araucana El Calafate
by Fredlyfish4 (CC BY-SA 4.0)
1 of 12
profile iconAraucaria araucana El Calafate
by Fredlyfish4 (CC BY-SA 4.0)
1 of 12
Araucaria araucana is a highly recognisable species due to its distinctive foliage and growth habit. Thought to be collected from the Governor's dinner table and returned in the pocket of Archibald Menzies who germinated them on his return voyage, this tree species is now at risk in its native habitats in Chile. This plant is described as a living fossil as it remains essentially unchanged from earlier geological times and there are no living relatives. It produces highly distinctive, regularly branching stems which follow the mathematical Fibonacci series in their arrangement, producing dark green, rigid, spiny, pointed scales. Also produces cones that take 2-3 years to ripen.
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Planning

Difficulty

Moderate

Fruiting time

Autumn

Harvesting

Generally not harvested.

Propagation

Cuttings

Take cuttings from vertical branches in midsummer. Cuttings from horizontal branches will not form upright trees.

Special features

Origin

South America

Environment

Light

Full Sun, Partial Shade, Partial Sun

Soil moisture

Moist

Soil type

Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand

Soil PH preference

Acid, Neutral, Alkaline

Frost hardiness

Hardy

Uses

Notes

Suits any site with well drained soil and shelter from cold drying winds. A low maintenance tree it can be used as a specimen tree and is tolerant of salt so can also be planted in coastal gardens.

Personality

Family

Araucariaceae

Scent

None

Problems

Can suffer from honey fungus.

Related Problems

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Knowledge and advice

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