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Araucaria columnaris

Araucaria columnaris (G. Forst.) Hook.

Araucaria excelsa (Lamb.) R. Br.

New Caledonian Pine, Coral Reef Araucaria, Cook Pine, Cook Araucaria, Columnar Araucaria

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionConiferophytaConifers—cone-bearing trees (and a few shrubs)
ClassPinopsidaGymnosperms such as cedars, Douglas-firs, cypresses, firs, junipers, kauri, larches, pines, hemlocks, redwoods, spruces, and yews
OrderPinalesCone-bearing plants: cedar, cypress, fir, juniper, larch, pine, redwood, spruce, yew, and others
FamilyAraucariaceaeAraucarian family
GenusAraucariaNamed for the South Chilean province of Arauco
SpeciescolumnarisColumnar, in the shape of a column

About plant names...

This tree is native to New Caledonia. It has been successfully introduced to Hawaii. It was first classified by botanist Johann Reinhold Forster, on Captain James Cook’s second circumnavigation of the globe. It prefers calcerous soil and is found close to the coast.

Plants: Trees are distinctively shaped, forming narrow conical shape 164-213' (50-65 m) in height. The trunk bottom is clear. Bark peels easily in thin paperlike sheets. It is rough, grey, and resinous. Branches form whorls around the trunk. The entire tree tilts slightly, leaning south in the northern hemisphere and north in the southern. The average tilt is about 8°.

Leaves: Branches are divided into a profusion of mostly horizontal branchlets, each quite uniform in diameter, resembling a green rope, and covered spirally with neatly arranged needlelike leaflets. Each leaflet bends forward toward the branch tip, and are ⅛-¼" (4-7 mm) × ¹/₁₆-⅛" (2-3 mm). Young leaves are lanceolate, and look like needles. Adult leaves are triangular and more scale-like, ¼" (7 mm) × ⅛" (3.5 mm).

Fruits: Female seed cones are scaly, egg-shaped, and 4-6" (10-15 cm) × 2½-4" (7-11 cm). Smaller, more numerous male pollen cones are a branch tips, and a scaly, shaped like fox tails, and 1¾-4" (5-10 cm) × 6-9" (15-22 cm).

See also the similar-appearing Norfolk pine.

Online References:

Araucaria columnaris on conifersociety.org

Araucaria columnaris on The Gymnosperm Database

Araucaria columnaris on Hawaiian Plants and Tropical Flowers

Araucaria columnaris at the University of Hawai‘i’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources at Mānoa

Araucaria columnaris on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources Red List of Threatened Species

Araucaria columnaris description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 27 Jun 2017.

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Araucaria columnaris (New Caledonian Pine, Coral Reef Araucaria, Cook Pine, Cook Araucaria, Columnar Araucaria)

2/24/2010 · San Diego (Quail) Botanic Garden, Encinitas, CA
≈ 4½ × 7' (1.5 × 2.2 m)

Araucaria columnaris (New Caledonian Pine, Coral Reef Araucaria, Cook Pine, Cook Araucaria, Columnar Araucaria)

2/24/2010 · San Diego (Quail) Botanic Garden, Encinitas, CA
≈ 29 × 19" (72 × 48 cm)

Araucaria columnaris (New Caledonian Pine, Coral Reef Araucaria, Cook Pine, Cook Araucaria, Columnar Araucaria)

2/24/2010 · San Diego (Quail) Botanic Garden, Encinitas, CA
≈ 5½ × 3½' (1.7 × 1.2 m)

Range: Zones 10:

About this map...