fossil_range = fossil range|250|0Jurassiccite journal|author1=Hiroaki, Setoguchi|author2=Osawa, Takeshi Asakawa|author3=Pintaud, Jean Christophe|author4=Tanguy, Jaffre|author4=Veillon, Jean-Marie| date=1998| title=Phylogenetic relationships within Araucariaceae based on "rbcL" gene sequences| journal=American Journal of Botany| volume=85:11 | pages = 1507–1516|] - recent
name = "Araucaria"

image_width = 250px
image_caption = "Araucaria columnaris"
regnum = Plantae
divisio = Pinophyta
classis = Pinopsida
ordo = Pinales
familia = Araucariaceae
genus = "Araucaria"
genus_authority = Juss.
subdivision_ranks = Species
subdivision = See text.

"Araucaria" is a genus of evergreen coniferous trees in the family Araucariaceae. There are 19 species in the genus, with a highly disjunct distribution in New Caledonia (where 13 species are endemic), Norfolk Island, eastern Australia, New Guinea, Argentina, Chile, and southern Brazil.


Araucaria are mainly large trees with a massive erect stem, reaching a height of 30-80 m. The horizontal, spreading branches grow in whorls and are covered with leathery or needle-like leaves. In some species, the leaves are narrow awl-shaped and lanceolate, barely overlapping each other, in others they are broad and flat, and overlap broadly.

The trees are mostly dioecious, with male and female cones found on separate trees, though occasional individuals are monoecious or change sex with time. The female cones, usually high on the top of the tree, are globose, and vary in size between species from 7-25 cm diameter. They contain 80-200 large, edible seeds, similar to pine nuts though larger. The male cones are smaller, 4-10 cm long, and narrow to broad cylindrical, 1.5-5 cm broad.


Many if not all current populations are relicts, and of restricted distribution. They are found in forest and maquis shrubland, with an affinity for exposed sites. These columnar trees are living fossils, dating back to early in the Mesozoic age. Fossil records show that the genus also formerly occurred in the northern hemisphere until the end of the Cretaceous period.


Some of the species are relatively common in cultivation because of their distinctive, formal symmetrical growth habit. Several species are economically important for timber production and the edible seeds.

Etymology of name

The genus is familiar to many people as the genus of the distinctive Monkey-puzzle "Araucaria araucana". The genus is named after the Arauco Indians of central Chile and south-west Argentina whose territory incorporates natural stands of this species, where it is known as the Pehuén. These Native Americans, who name themselves the Pehuenche ('people of the Pehuén'), harvest the seeds extensively for food. No distinct vernacular name exists for the genus; many are erroneously called 'pine', despite their being only very distantly related to pines ("Pinus").

Classification and species list

There are two sections in the genus, sometimes treated as separate genera:
*Section "Araucaria". Leaves broad; cones more than 12cm diameter; seed germination hypogeal. Syn. sect. "Columbea"; sometimes subdivided into three sections or subsections.
** "Araucaria angustifolia". Paraná Pine (obsolete: Brazilian Pine, Candelabra Tree). Southeastern Brazil, northeastern Argentina.
** "Araucaria araucana". Monkey-puzzle or Pehuén (obsolete: Chile Pine). Central Chile & western Argentina.
** "Araucaria bidwillii". Bunya-bunya. Eastern Australia (sometimes placed in sect. "Bunya").
** "Araucaria hunsteinii". Klinki. New Guinea (sometimes placed in sect. "Intermedia").
*Section "Eutacta". Leaves narrow, awl-like; cones less than 12cm diameter; seed germination epigeal.See the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh web site for New Caledonian Araucaria research
** "Araucaria bernieri". New Caledonia.
** "Araucaria biramulata". New Caledonia.
** "Araucaria columnaris". Cook Pine. New Caledonia.
** "Araucaria cunninghamii". Moreton Bay Pine, Hoop Pine. Eastern Australia, New Guinea.
** "Araucaria heterophylla". Norfolk Island Pine. Norfolk Island.
** "Araucaria humboldtensis". New Caledonia.
** "Araucaria laubenfelsii". New Caledonia.
** "Araucaria luxurians". New Caledonia.
** "Araucaria montana". New Caledonia.
** "Araucaria muelleri". New Caledonia.
** "Araucaria nemorosa". New Caledonia.
** "Araucaria rulei". New Caledonia.
** "Araucaria schmidii". New Caledonia.
** "Araucaria scopulorum". New Caledonia.
** "Araucaria subulata". New Caledonia.


External links

* [ Gymnosperm Database: "Araucaria"]
* [ "Araucaria Research"]
* [ Some of the tallest Araucaria Angustifolia, Heterophylla and Columnaris in the northern hemisphere, stand side by side at Furnas, Azores Islands] .
* ["Div. Araucaria Araucana Trees"]


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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • araucaria — [ arokarja ] n. m. • 1860; araucaire 1806; lat. bot., de Arauco, province du sud du Chili ♦ Arbre d ornement d origine andine (araucariacées) au tronc et aux branches couverts d écailles, aux feuilles écailleuses, appelé aussi désespoir des… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • araucaria — ARAUCÁRIA s.f. invar. Specie de conifer originar din America de Sud şi Australia (Araucaria angustifolia). [pr.: ra u ] – Din fr. araucaria. Trimis de romac, 13.09.2007. Sursa: DEX 98  araucária s. f. invar. (sil. rau , ri a) Trimis de siveco,… …   Dicționar Român

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  • araucaria — [ar΄ô ker′ē ə, er΄ô ker′ē ə] n. [ModL < Sp Arauco: see ARAUCANIAN] any of a genus (Araucaria) of the araucaria family of cone bearing trees with flat, scalelike needles, native to the Southern Hemisphere and grown as ornamentals in other… …   English World dictionary

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  • Araucaria — Ar au*ca ri*a, n. [Araucania, a territory south of Chili.] (Bot.) A genus of tall conifers of the pine family. The species are confined mostly to South America and Australia. The wood cells differ from those of other in having the dots in their… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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