Here is a nice sample of the Araucaria araucana (Pehuén or Monkey-puzzle) tree.It’s the hardiest species of the conifer genus Araucaria.Native to central Chile and west central Argentina,it’s an evergreen tree growing to 40 m tall and 2 m trunk diameter. Because of the species’ great age it is sometimes described as a living fossil. Araucaria araucana is the national tree of Chile.The sharp leaves are believed to have prevented it’s destruction by dinosaurs, such is the great age of the species. It’s a beautiful ornamental tree in many countries, and especially popular around Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, Canada. This one is just around the corner from my house. It’s called “Chilean Pine” but it’s not a pine at all. The generic term “Monkey Puzzle Tree” apparently originated from a visitor to a garden in England saying that monkeys would have a puzzle climbing it, and the name stuck. Since monkeys would never get past the sharp leaves, it makes no difference anyway.
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Taken with a Fuji S100FS camera, April 27, 2009
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