Monkey Puzzle (Araucaria araucana)

Araucaria araucana

Also known as: Chile Pine

Native: Chile, Argentina

Location: Grown as an ornamental in Europe and N. America.

Evergreen conifer.

Foliage

Foliage composed of large thick dark green prickly leaf-like scales.

Uses

The seeds used to be eaten as dessert nuts in South America and Archibald Menzies first brought the Monkey Puzzle into cultivation by slipping some nuts from a Chilean banquet into his pocket.

Pollen and Seed Cones

Araucaria araucana

Male and female cones are produced on separate trees, and only on topmost branches. Males are about 10cm long and shed pollen in July; females are solitary, erect and green.

Mature Cones

Araucaria araucana

Mature cones are about 10cm-17cm long, ripening from green to brown in their second autumn.