About This Plant

Araucaria araucana, known as the monkey puzzle tree, is a distinctive evergreen native to the Andes in South America. It boasts unique upward-reaching branches covered in overlapping, scale-like leaves. Reaching heights of 50 to 70 feet (15 to 21 meters), it’s a living relic with a lineage dating back to the time of dinosaurs. While not related to monkeys, it earned its name due to its challenging branches. Cultivated for its striking appearance, this tree thrives in well-drained soil and cool climates, adding a touch of prehistoric charm to landscapes.

The Story

Leaf

The unique leaves of the Monkey Puzzle are stiff, needle-like, and densely arranged along the branches. Each leaf is dark green and can measure around 1 to 1.5 inches (2.5 to 4 cm) in length. The foliage gives the tree a spiky appearance and the arrangement of the leaves spirals around the branches.

Produce

Its large cones produce edible seeds called piñones, historically important to indigenous peoples.
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