Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Araucaria araucana (Molina) K. Koch.

Fully-hardy evergreen conical tree with whorled branches, becoming rounded as it loses its lower branches on maturing, with persistent, radially arranged, pointed, leathery leaves, to 5cm long, and ovoid female cones, to 15cm long, which ripen over 2-3 years, and similarly sized, cylindrical male cones.  To 25m.  [RHSE, Hortus, Hilliers’].

Horticultural & Botanical History

Introduced to Europe in 1796.  [JD].  ‘The Araucaria imbricata, with the exception of one or two trees near the coast [of Chile] that have probably been planted, is only found in the interior of the Indian country, south of Biobio.  The Indians of that neighbourhood subsist entirely on the seed of the Araucaria, which they harvest and bury in pits for winter use.  The name of the tribe is derived from that of the tree which affords their food, the Araucaria being called Pehuca in the Indian language, and ches signifying people.  Its wood is said to be very resinous and close-grained, but brittle.  whether it be from the circumstance, or the difficulty of transporting it from the interior, I am not aware, but the timber of the Araucaria is never exported.’  [HBM p.171/1831].  Figured in Die Coniferen [Die Coniferen t.XLVIII, t.XLIX and t.L].  FS f.1577-1580/1860.

History at Camden Park

Listed only in the 1843 and 1845 catalogues suggesting that it was short-lived in the gardens.  It has recently been reintroduced.


Published Jul 28, 2009 - 04:54 PM | Last updated Jul 14, 2010 - 02:33 PM

Illustrated are leaves and seeds.  Die Coniferen t.XLVIII, 1840-41.

Araucaria araucana (Molina) K. Koch. | Die Coniferen t.XLVIII/1840-41 | BHL

Family Araurcariaceae
Region of origin

Chile, Argentina

  • Araucaria imbricata Pav.
  • Pinus araucana Molina
Common Name

Chilean pine, Monkey puzzle tree

Name in the Camden Park Record

Araucaria imbricata – Chili pine 

Confidence level high