Gymnosperms (Seed Producing Plants: Conifers, Cycads, Ginkgo) •

Parana Pine

(Araucaria angustifolia)



Araucaria angustifolia, the Parana- pine, Brazilian pine or candelabra tree (pinheiro-do-paran-, arauc-ria or pinheiro brasileiro), is a critically endangered species in the conifer genus Araucaria. Although the common names in various languages refer to the species as a "pine", it is not a true pine.It is an evergreen tree growing to 40 m (130 ft) tall and 1 m (3 ft 3 in) diameter at breast height. The leaves are thick, tough and scale like, triangular, 3-6 centimetres (1.2-2.4 in) long, 5-10 millimetres (0.2-0.4 in) broad at the base, and with razor-sharp edges and tip. They persist 10 to 15 years, so cover most of the tree except for the trunk and older branches. It is closely related to Araucaria araucana from further southwest in South America, differing most conspicuously in the narrower leaves.It is usually dioecious, with the male and female cones on separate trees. The male (pollen) cones are oblong, 6 cm (2.4 in) long at first, expanding to 10-18 cm (4-7 in) long by 15-25 mm (0.6-1.0 in) broad at pollen release. Like all conifers it is wind pollinated. The female cones (seed), which mature in autumn about 18 months after pollination, are globose, large, 18-25 cm (7-10 in) in diameter, and hold about 100-150 seeds. The cones disintegrate at maturity to release the approximately 5 cm (2 in) long nut-like seeds, which are then dispersed by animals, notably the azure jay, Cyanocorax caeruleus.The inner bark and resin from the trunk of the tree is reddish, which can be a good defining character because it differs from Araucaria araucana, which has brown bark inner and white resin.It prefers well drained, slightly acidic soil but will tolerate almost any soil type provided drainage is good. It requires a subtropical climate with abundant rainfall, tolerating occasional frosts down to about -5 to -20 -C (23 to -4 -F).The seeds are very important for the native animals. Several mammals and birds eat pinh-o, and it has an important ecological role in Araucaria moist forests (a sub-type of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest). The species is widely used in folk medicine.

Taxonomic tree:

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Coniferophyta
Class: Pinopsida
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