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Araucaria bidwillii

Araucaria bidwillii (Molina) K. Koch

 

Bunya-Bunya, Bunya-bunya Pine

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae (from Stearn’s Botanical Latin)
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionConiferophytaConifers—cone-bearing trees (and a few shrubs)
ClassPinopsidaGymnosperms such as cedars, Douglas-firs, cypresses, firs, junipers, kauri, larches, pines, hemlocks, redwoods, spruces, and yews
OrderPinalesCone-bearing plants: cedar, cypress, fir, juniper, larch, pine, redwood, spruce, yew, and others
FamilyAraucariaceaeAraucarian family
GenusAraucariaNamed for the South Chilean province of Arauco
Speciesbidwillii

About plant names...

The bunya pine, native to Queensland, Australia, is not found in the wild in North America. It is not actually a pine at all, though the mistake is a natural one, given its appearance and its cone-like nuts.

Identification: Trees are 98-148' (30-45 m) high, and can reach 500 years in age. If you are in the Bunya Mountains, or the Jimna area, or Mount Lewis (all in Australia), look for tall trees with rounded tops (younger trees are more pyramidal in shape). Bark is dark brown or black, with scales that are about ⅞" (2.5 cm) wide and 3" (7.5 cm) long. The trunk resembles that of an elephant. Younger trees have glossy, stiff, light green leaves, ⅞-1¾" (2.5-5 cm) long, with sharp points. Older trees have leaves that are darker, arrayed evenly about the small branches, ¼-1" (7-28 mm) long.

Araucaria bidwillii (Bunya-Bunya, Bunya-bunya Pine)

The conelike nuts were a significant food source for indigenous Australians. Photo by Dgies.

Edibility: Roasted and boiled, the nuts were important to Australian natives. Paste made by grinding the nuts could be eaten as is or cooked into a bread. Nuts stored in a running creek fermented, producing a delicacy. More recently, enthusiasts have created many interesting preparations of this “bushfood,” which tastes like a cross between chestnuts and potatoes.

Online References:

Araucaria bidwillii on Wikipedia

Araucaria bidwillii on The Gymnosperm Database

Araucaria bidwillii on FLORIDATA

Araucaria bidwillii at Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants

Araucaria bidwillii on Plants for a Future, a resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants

Araucaria bidwillii at the University of Florida Environmental Horticulture site

Araucaria bidwillii (Bunya-Bunya, Bunya-bunya Pine)

2/24/2010 · San Diego (Quail) Botanic Garden, Encinitas, CA ID is uncertain

Araucaria bidwillii (Bunya-Bunya, Bunya-bunya Pine)

4/6/2011 · Howard Peters Rawlings Conservatory & Botanic Gardens, Druid Hill Park, Baltimore, MD

Araucaria bidwillii description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 16 Aug 2013.

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Araucaria bidwillii (Bunya-Bunya, Bunya-bunya Pine)

4/6/2011 · Howard Peters Rawlings Conservatory & Botanic Gardens, Druid Hill Park, Baltimore, MD
≈ 4½ × 7" (11 × 17 cm)

Araucaria bidwillii (Bunya-Bunya, Bunya-bunya Pine)

2/24/2010 · San Diego (Quail) Botanic Garden, Encinitas, CA

Araucaria bidwillii (Bunya-Bunya, Bunya-bunya Pine)

2/24/2010 · San Diego (Quail) Botanic Garden, Encinitas, CA

Araucaria bidwillii (Bunya-Bunya, Bunya-bunya Pine)

4/6/2011 · Howard Peters Rawlings Conservatory & Botanic Gardens, Druid Hill Park, Baltimore, MD

Range: Zones 8b-11:

About this map...