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 heterophylla (Salisb.) Franco

Half-hardy, evergreen conical tree with characteristic whorled branches of fan-like foliage, spherical female cones, to 10cm long, and smaller, cylindrical male cones.  To 45m.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Horticultural & Botanical History

Introduced to Britain before Araucaria bidwillii but I am unsure of the date.  ‘There is no fear of the Pines (Araucaria excelsa) being exhausted upon Norfolk Island.  The island is very nearly covered with them; their outline having, at a distance, the appearance of Cathedral ruins, &c., as the light or shade may be; and the convicts do no more work than they are obliged.  I forget whether I mentioned to you that the island was formerly covered with orange-trees.  The Commandant, in 1827, Colonel Morrison, believing that the fruit furnished means of sustenance to the runaway convicts, caused them to be destroyed, with a very few exceptions, which trees have since gone off; and although every means have been taken to re-establish them, they will not succeed.  In 1844 there was but one tree upon the island, and that was in an unhealthy state.’  [BM p.29/1847, Notice of a Botanical Mission to the West Indies and New Granada; by William Purdie].  A lithograph in Die Coniferen shows a mature tree, presumably on Norfolk Island.  [Die Coniferen t.XLII/1840-41].  There are also illustrations of leaves, cones and seeds in this publication.

History at Camden Park

Listed in all published catalogues [C.10/1843].  On 8th August 1844 Macarthur wrote to the Sydney Botanic Garden with a request ‘to be supplied with the following plants from the Botanic Garden for the purpose of being forwarded to England in exchange for plants transmitted from thence: 24 small Norfolk Island Pines, 6 Moreton Bay [A. cunninghamii] ditto.’ 


Published Jul 26, 2009 - 05:30 PM | Last updated Jul 14, 2010 - 02:33 PM

A lithograph shows a mature tree, presumably on Norfolk Island.  Die Coniferen t.XLII, 1840-41.

Araucaria heterophylla (Salisb.) Franco | Die Coniferen t.XLII/1840-41 | BHL

Family Araurcariaceae
Region of origin

Norfolk Island

  • Araucaria excelsa R.Br.
  • Eutassa heterophylla Salisb.
Common Name

Norfolk Island pine

Name in the Camden Park Record

Araucaria excelsa - Norfolk Island pine 

Confidence level high