monkeypuzzle tree Araucariaceae Araucaria
araucana (Molina) K. Koch
|Leaf: Distinctive, armor-like, scale-like, triangular leaves, persist for 10 to 15 years, sometimes longer on the trunk, ovate-lanceolate in shape, 1 to 2 inches long, shiny green on both surfaces but surface marked with longitudinal lines and stomata on both faces.
Flower: Species can be dioecious or monoecious; male cones can be solitary or in groups, start out erect but become pendant, yellowish-brown, 1/4 to 1/2 inch long, 2 inches wide, with 20 whorled scales. Immature female cones are large, globular, and erect; take 2 to 3 years to develop.
Fruit: Female cones are erect, globular, dark brown, and 4 to 7 inches long by 3 to 6 inches wide, scales have long triangular recurved points; developing in 2-3 years and falling off at maturity; seeds are brown to orange, triangular in shape, 1 to 1 1/2 inches long, the nut is long and narrow with 2 small even wings that are denticulate at the top.
Twig: The lateral branches grow horizontal or slightly pendant from the main trunk. They resemble the tails of monkeys holding onto the trunk.
Bark: Gray-brown, resinous, smooth, and marked with rings made by old branch scars.
Form: A pyramidal shaped tree 90 to 130 feet tall and 3 to 4 feet in diameter. The branches grow horizontally in whorls of five in opposite pairs.
Looks like: Norfolk pine
| Additional Range Information:
Araucaria araucana is planted in the USDA
hardiness zones shown above and is not known to widely escape
| External Links:
USDA Plants Database
|© Copyright 2016, Virginia Tech|
Dept. of Forest Resources
and Environmental Conservation,
all rights reserved.
Photos and text by: John Seiler,
Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera,
and John Peterson