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Thursday, 28 July 2011

Monkey Puzzle Tree


Some months ago, my friend Nena and I paid the visit to one of her friends (who's name is also Vesna, like mine, and who's garden will be presented in one of my future posts). On our way back home, to my great surprise, I noticed this Monkey Puzzle Tree (Araucaria araucana) in front of one house. I saw it once before, in Kew gardens, but never in Croatia, especially not grown this way -  as an ornamental tree in a private garden.
It is an evergreen tree, native to Chile and Argentina. It grows above 1000 m, in regions with heavy snowfall. It may be 40 m tall. This is actually a coniferous tree, but the foliage is not needle-like as in most of conifers. It is broad, triangular, with sharp edges and a pointed tip. 
Young trees have this typical conical shape, whereas the older trees loose lover branches and form an umbrella.

left side images credit: conifers

Araucaria araucana is a national tree of Chile.
This species is fully protected under Appendix I of CITES. Despite of harvest prohibition in Chile, this tree is at some risk of extinction. 


10 comments:

  1. This tree is also found a lot in the UK - though it is a bit out of fashion these days. It was very popular in the early 20th century.

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  2. As Mark says people did plant them in gardens in the UK but soon found out it was a bit of a mistake as they can grow huge!

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  3. Prekrasna je Araucaria, prava dekorativna ljepotica svakog vrta!

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  4. Perfect Vesna! :-D Is Vesna a common name in Croatia? I have my Araucaria in pots. My wife used them last Christmas. Tropical Christmas tree. We wanted to use living plants and this was the closest one we could get in terms of looks. It is a bit sparse so we had three trees of varying sizes in our living room.

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  5. Beautiful! I have seen these in garden catalogs and wondered how they looked in the garden. Now, I know...great photos!

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  6. It is a very unusual tree. Are you going to plant one?

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  7. What a coincidence. I also posted about the tree just yesterday!

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  8. No, I don't want to plant it in my garden. Too exotic look for my natural garden. I prefer native species of plants and their cultivars.

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  9. Zaista ovo je pravi ukras vrta:)

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  10. Apparently the nuts from Monkey Puzzle are a good substitute for pine nuts.

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