*Monkey puzzle

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*Araucaria araucana

Chile, Argentina

Location: map coordinates N-7 (near northwest side of Baker Building), N 39°11'11'' W 75°32'46''

Planting history: planted 5/6/10. Source: Willey Farms, DE. (Dr. S. Yost, Capacity Building Grant funds).

  • evergreen tree
  • etymology: Araucaria and araucana from the Araucani (Araucano) Indians who live in the area where this species grows in South America
  • leaves triangular, very sharp; covering branches
  • branching structure and appearance unusual; common name said to be because it would puzzle a monkey to climb it
  • cone-bearing; usually dioecious (separate male and female plants)
  • member of ancient Araucaria family; therefore not a true pine. Relatives include Norfolk-Island-pine, bunya-bunya tree, and the recently discovered Wollemi-pine
  • native to lower slopes of the Andes Mountains of Chile and Argentina, usually >3,000 feet altitude
  • grows to >100’ tall in native habitat, with distinctive umbrella shape; much shorter in cultivation; long-lived (possibly to 1,000 years)
  • prefers cool moist conditions; well-drained soil, and regular watering
  • rare, and listed as an endangered species; now protected in its native habitat; was overharvested in the past for its wood
  • hardy in Delaware, in a good location (said to be hardy to USDA zones 6-8, or 7b-11)

*Non-native species (not native to Delaware)

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