Saturday, June 5, 2010
Araucaria auracana - Monkey Puzzle Tree
Araucaria araucana: Genus and species named for Arauco Indians of Chile and Argentina, who have natural forests of this tree and harvest the seeds for food.
Curious looking tree similar to A. bidwillii. Awl-shaped leaves 1-2" long, dark green, whorled around the branch. Trees are dioecious -- male and female cones appear on separate trees. 4-7" female cones are solitary at the ends of branchs and take 2-3 years to ripen. Bark is reddish to grey-brown with shallow seams and rings from old branch scars. Trunk appears wrinkley with age. This is the most hardy of the araucarias. They are also drought tolerant and disease resistant.