Araucaria araucana (Molina) K. Koch
Araucaria imbricata Pav.
The monkey-puzzle tree is native to south central Chile and west central Argentina. In these locations it is found in the Andes Mountains, usually above 3281' (1 km). It is not found in the wild in North America. It is named because the shape and curl of the branches resemble monkey’s tails.
Identification: Trees are evergreens, 98-131' (30-40 m) tall and 3-5' (1-1.5 m) around, and conical in shape. Bark is gray-brown, with rings left from older leaves. Branches form whorls of five, emerging almost horizontally from the trunk. Leaves are scale-like, with sharp tips. They cover every branch and even the trunk. Leaves are 1-1¾" (3-5 cm) long and ¼-⅞" (8-25 mm) wide. Male cones are yellowish-brown, 2½-6" (7-15 cm) long × 1¾" (5 cm) wide. Female cones are round, dark brown, 4-7" (10-18 cm) long × 3-6" (8-15 cm) wide. The individual scales of both cones have narrow, sharp tips. Don’t confuse this with the related and similar-appearing Norfolk pine.
Araucaria araucana on The Gymnosperm Database
Araucaria araucana at the Virginia Tech Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation
Araucaria araucana on FLORIDATA
Araucaria araucana on Plants for a Future, a resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants
Araucaria araucana description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 16 Aug 2013.