Alphabetical Plant Listing

Araucaria araucana (Monkey Puzzle)

Monkey Puzzle, Money Puzzle Tree, Chile Pine


A bold statement in the landscape, Araucaria araucana (Monkey Puzzle) is an architectural evergreen conifer with whorled branches clothed in short, pointed, lustrous dark green leaves, spirally arranged around the branches. Leathery and overlapping, the leaves persist for many years. Slow-growing, Monkey Puzzle has an open, symmetrical, loose-pyramidal habit in youth, but develops into an umbrella-shaped tree with the loss of the lower branches. The horizontal, broad, spreading, rope-like branches become downward-sweeping branches that curve up at the tip like the tail of a monkey. The tree is usually dioecious, with the male and female cones on separate trees, though occasional individuals bear cones of both sexes. Resembling muskmelons, the female cones are quite large, up to 8 in long (20 cm), and may weigh 10–15 lbs. (4.5–7 kg) apiece. They take three years to ripen. The seeds are edible, similar to large pine nuts, and are extensively harvested in Chile. Araucaria araucana is a popular garden tree. It is a magnificent focal point on a lawn and can be grown in a grove. It is well suited for coastal locations.

  • Grows up to 50-80 ft. tall (15-24 m) and 20-30 ft. wide (6-9 m).
  • Performs best in full sun or part shade in moderately fertile, moist, well-drained soils. Tolerates a wide range of soils, as long as drainage is good. Provide a site sheltered from cold, drying winds.
  • Pest free. Keep an eye our for honey fungus.
  • No routine pruning necessary. Remove diseased, damaged, congested or crossing shoots.
  • Native to Chile, Argentina.

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Requirements

Hardiness 7 – 11
Heat Zones 6 – 11
Climate Zones 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, H1, H2
Plant Type Conifers, Trees
Plant Family Araucaria - Monkey Puzzle Trees
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 50' – 80' (15m – 24m)
Spread 20' – 30' (6m – 9m)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Evergreen, Fruit & Berries
Garden Styles Coastal Garden, Prairie and Meadow

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Brian A Taylor, Shutterstok

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 7 – 11
Heat Zones 6 – 11
Climate Zones 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, H1, H2
Plant Type Conifers, Trees
Plant Family Araucaria - Monkey Puzzle Trees
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 50' – 80' (15m – 24m)
Spread 20' – 30' (6m – 9m)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Evergreen, Fruit & Berries
Garden Styles Coastal Garden, Prairie and Meadow

Great Plant Combination Ideas with Araucaria - Monkey Puzzle Trees

Guides with Araucaria - Monkey Puzzle Trees

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