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

Monkey puzzle tree

(Araucaria araucana)

galery
en

Description

Araucaria araucana (commonly called the monkey puzzle tree, monkey tail tree, Chilean pine, or pehuén) is an evergreen tree growing to 1?1.5 m (3?5 ft) in diameter and 30?40 m (100?130 ft) in height. It is native to central and southern Chile, western Argentina.[2] Araucaria araucana is the hardiest species in the conifer genus Araucaria. Because of the longevity of this species, it is described as a living fossil. It is also the national tree of Chile. Its conservation status was changed to Endangered by the IUCN in 2013 due to the dwindling population. The leaves are thick, tough, and scale-like, triangular, 3?4 cm (1.2?1.6 in) long, 1?3 cm (0.39?1.18 in) broad at the base, and with sharp edges and tips. According to Lusk, The leaves have an average lifespan of 24 years[3] and so cover most of the tree except for the older branches. It is usually dioecious, with the male and female cones on separate trees, though occasional individuals bear cones of both sexes. The male (pollen) cones are oblong and cucumber-shaped, 4 cm (1.6 in) long at first, expanding to 8?12 cm (3.1?4.7 in) long by 5?6 cm (2.0?2.4 in) broad at pollen release. It is wind pollinated. The female (seed) cones, which mature in autumn about 18 months after pollination, are globose, large, 12?20 cm (4.7?7.9 in) in diameter, and hold about 200 seeds. The cones disintegrate at maturity to release the 3?4 cm (1.2?1.6 in) long nut-like seeds.

Taxonomic tree:

Domain:
Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Coniferophyta
Class: Pinopsida
Order:Pinales
Family:Araucariaceae
Genus:Araucaria
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