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 bidwillii Hook.

Frost-tender evergreen conical tree with whorled branches, becoming rounded as the lower branches are lost on maturing, flattened, spreading, lance-shaped leaves, to 5cm long, spirally arranged when young, to 3cm long, twisted and overlapping when mature, spherical female cones, to 27cm long, and smaller, cylindrical male cones.  To 45m.  [RHSE, Hortus, Blombery]. 

Horticultural & Botanical History

It was first botanically described by Sir William Hooker in the Journal of Botany from a plant taken to England by John Bidwill.  This plant was almost certainly obtained from Camden Park.  [JOB II t.18/1843].  The Journal of Botany also reported in 1855 that a large cone was sent to the Exhibition Universelle at Paris in that year by Chas. F. D. Parkinson , of Moreton Bay.  Included was this report by Parkinson: ‘When the proper season arrives, the natives assemble in great numbers from very great distances all around, for the purposes of eating the fruit, which they generally roast.  Each tribe has its own peculiar set of trees, and each family its own allotment among them.  These are handed down from year to year, with the greatest exactness, and if any one is found in a tree not belonging to him, a fight or ‘pullen pullen’ is the inevitable consequence’. 

History at Camden Park

Listed in the 1850 and 1857 catalogues [C.7/1850].  William Macarthur was undoubtedly among the first colonial gardeners to grow the bunya pine as an ornamental specimen.  He propagated it both by cutting and from seed and included detailed instructions on how to germinate seeds and drawings of its mode of germination in a letter to Sir William Hooker at Kew on the 11th of February 1848.  [MP A2933-1, p.165].  An iconic tree in the Camden Park garden with many mature specimens. 


Published Jan 24, 2009 - 03:31 PM | Last updated Jul 14, 2010 - 02:34 PM

The photograph shows a Bunya pine in the Camden Park gardens in 1908.  Agricultural Gazette of NSW, June 2nd, p.3, 1908.

Araucaria bidwillii | Agricultural Gazette of NSW, June 2nd, p.3/1908 | BHL

Family Araurcariaceae
Region of origin

Australia, south east Queensland

  • Marywildea bidwillii (Hook.) A.V.Bobrov & Melikyan 

Common Name

Bunya-bunya pine, Bunya-bunya

Name in the Camden Park Record

Araucaria  Bidwilli 

Confidence level high