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Araucaria heterophyllaNorfolk Island Pine
 
Araucaria heterophylla
Araucaria heterophylla Araucaria heterophylla Araucaria heterophylla Araucaria heterophylla Araucaria heterophylla Araucaria heterophylla Araucaria heterophylla
 

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One of the most familiar tree silhouettes in the world is that of the Norfolk Island Pine, a member of the Araucaria family that has been dated from the Jurassic period, 200 million years ago. Araucaria species have prehistoric connections to the pine family when all of the continents were one single land mass.

Captain Cook discovered tiny Norfolk Island on his second voyage to the South Pacific. Eight hundred miles due east of Australia, the Norfolk Island Pine has evolved in splendid isolation as a unique member of this ancient family. Currently they are protected in a natural preserve.

Araucaria heterophylla has a pyramidal outline of whorled, horizontal branches, widely spaced, in formal ascending order to its crown. The dark green leaves (needles) are awl-shaped, covering all sides of the branches, changing their shape slightly in the upper branches as the tree ages. The bark is grey and rough. 'Heterophylla' (variable leaves) describes the variation in the leaves from youth to adulthood.

A great favorite as a landscape tree in the Bay Area, Norfolk Island Pine is also popular as a Christmas tree, or as an exotic houseplant of ancient lineage that survives with little watering. Nineteen species have survived from this primeval genus (Araucaria) including the monkey puzzle tree and bunya-bunya tree, all of which are native to the Southern Hemisphere.

Profile
Scientific Name Araucaria heterophylla
Family Araucariaceae
Plant Type Large tree to 200' in its native habitat; to 100' in the Bay Area
Environment Full sun, can tolerate shade but leaves will tend to droop. Tolerates all types of soil. Have weak root systems and rarely need repotting when grown in containers.
Bloom Female cones are produced on trees older than 15 years and male cones on trees older than 40 years. Prolific seed fall occurs every 4-5 years.
Uses Look magnificent when planted in larger lawns, make attractive groves and do very well in containers, both inside and out. Even tolerates festive holiday decorations each December.
More Info Not actually a true pine. The name pine in this case is a common name. They can often be misleading, but tend to 'stick' as they are something a large majority of people can relate too. True pines are in the genus Pinus.

Often sold as a pre-decorated potted Christmas tree of varying sizes (mostly smaller specimens)

Readliy confused with Araucaria columnaris, as both are almost identical when young. Older plants though are differentiated by the darker foliage and closer branches of A. columnaris.

The tallest known tree is at Tedeschi Winery, Ulupalakua, Maui, Hawaii at 169.94' tall.
Location

Araucaria heterophylla can be found in the Ancient Plant Garden (Beds 68D and 68G).

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IN BLOOM CONTRIBUTORS:
Photos by Docent Joanne Taylor
Text by Docent Kathy McNeil
Profile by Associate Curator David Kruse-Pickler
Additional photos by Eric Hunt ©

 
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December

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Acer palmatum 'Sango kaku'

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Magnolia campbellii 'Darjeeling'

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x Chiranthofremontia lenzii

x Chiranthofremontia lenzii

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Correa spp.

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Garrya elliptica

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Ribes spp.

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Taxus baccata

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Aloe arborescens

December

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Aloe plicatilis

January

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Banksia seminuda

February

Zantedeschia elliottiana

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March

Magnolia laevifolia

Magnolia laevifolia

April

Araucaria heterophylla

Araucaria heterophylla

May

Toxicodendron diversilobum

Toxicodendron diversilobum

June

Clarkia sp.

Clarkia sp.

July

Agapanthus

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September

Cedrus spp.

Cedrus spp.

October

Protea repens

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November

Camellia sinensis

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December

Thujopsis dolabrata

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Gordonia longicarpa

Gordonia longicarpa

February

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Echium spp.

Echium spp.

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Iris douglasiana

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Digitalis purpurea

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July

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Ceroxylon quindiuense

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October

Acer morrisonense

Acer morrisonense

November

Ilex aquifolium

Ilex aquifolium

December

Picea sitchensis

Picea sitchensis

January

Telanthophora grandifolia

Telanthophora grandifolia

February

Aeonium arboreum 'Schwartzkopf'

Aeonium arboreum 'Schwartzkopf'

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Leptospermum Spp.

Leptospermum

April

Salvia gesneraeflora

Salvia gesneraeflora

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Lavandula spp.

Lavandula spp.

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Luma apiculata

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Fremontodendron californicum

June

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Gunnera tinctoria

September

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Fuchsia boliviana

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Erica canaliculata

Erica canaliculata

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Geranium maderense

Geranium maderense

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Acmena smithii

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Eschscholzia californica

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Dendromecon harfordii

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Romneya coulteri

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Drimys winteri

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