Auraucaria araucana. Getty Images

Araucaria araucana

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Flowers
Flowers

Plant does not flower in January

Plant does not flower in February

Plant does not flower in March

Plant does not flower in April

Plant does not flower in May

Plant does not flower in June

Plant does flower in July

Plant does flower in August

Plant does not flower in September

Plant does not flower in October

Plant does not flower in November

Plant does not flower in December

Fruits
Fruits

Plant does not fruit in January

Plant does not fruit in February

Plant does not fruit in March

Plant does not fruit in April

Plant does not fruit in May

Plant does not fruit in June

Plant does fruit in July

Plant does fruit in August

Plant does not fruit in September

Plant does not fruit in October

Plant does not fruit in November

Plant does not fruit in December

  • Botanical name: Araucaria araucana
  • Plant Type: Tree, Evergreen
Foliage colour:

Green

Araucaria araucana is a large evergreen tree with a distinctive shape – its often horizontal branches are covered in spirals of sharp, triangular leaves. It is a common sight in large gardens and parks in the UK.

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Also known as the monkey puzzle tree or the Chile pine, Araucaria araucana is native to Chile and Argentina and is an endangered species in its native habitat.

The tree dates back 200 million years, which means it was around in the dinosaur era. It was introduced to Europe in the late 18th century and was a favourite with the Victorians. It’s thought that it got its common name when a guest saw a tree at a country estate in Cornwall and remarked that it would be a ‘puzzler’ for a monkey to climb.

Araucaria araucana is usually dioecious, which means that the male and female cones grow on separate trees. The male cones are elongated and oval-shaped while the female cones are round. They are pollinated by wind. The female cones ripen over a few years, eventually turning brown, falling to the ground and releasing large brown seeds. These are attractive to grey squirrels and jays.

The monkey puzzle tree is a slow grower, reaching 6m x 3m after 10 years. However it ultimately it reaches 25m tall and 10m wide, so this is only a tree for a large garden. It can live for over 1,000 years.

Grow in a sheltered spot in full sun or partial shade in fertile, moist but well drained soil. Water well after planting until established. No pruning or additional care is necessary.

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How to grow Araucaria araucana

  • Plant size

    25m height

    10m spread

  • Aspect

    South facing, east facing, west facing

  • Sun exposure: Full sun, partial shade
  • Hardiness: Hardy
  • Soil type: Clay / heavy / moist / well drained / light / sandy

Plant calendar

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Sow
Sow

Do not Sow in January

Do not Sow in February

Do not Sow in March

Do not Sow in April

Do not Sow in May

Do not Sow in June

Do not Sow in July

Do not Sow in August

Do Sow in September

Do Sow in October

Do not Sow in November

Do not Sow in December

Flowers
Flowers

Plant does not flower in January

Plant does not flower in February

Plant does not flower in March

Plant does not flower in April

Plant does not flower in May

Plant does not flower in June

Plant does flower in July

Plant does flower in August

Plant does not flower in September

Plant does not flower in October

Plant does not flower in November

Plant does not flower in December

Fruits
Fruits

Plant does not fruit in January

Plant does not fruit in February

Plant does not fruit in March

Plant does not fruit in April

Plant does not fruit in May

Plant does not fruit in June

Plant does fruit in July

Plant does fruit in August

Plant does not fruit in September

Plant does not fruit in October

Plant does not fruit in November

Plant does not fruit in December

Collect seeds
Collect seeds

Do not Collect seeds in January

Do not Collect seeds in February

Do not Collect seeds in March

Do not Collect seeds in April

Do not Collect seeds in May

Do not Collect seeds in June

Do not Collect seeds in July

Do not Collect seeds in August

Do Collect seeds in September

Do Collect seeds in October

Do not Collect seeds in November

Do not Collect seeds in December

Araucaria araucana and wildlife

Araucaria araucana has no particular known value to wildlife in the UK.

Is Araucaria araucana poisonous?

Araucaria araucana has no toxic effects reported.

No reported toxicity to:

No reported toxicity to Birds

No reported toxicity to Cats

No reported toxicity to Dogs

No reported toxicity to Horses

No reported toxicity to Livestock

No reported toxicity to People

Plants that go well with Araucaria araucana